This is the latest film that bears the burden of being Tim Burton’s return to form. Just like every other film he’s made since Planet of the Apes. This is the story of Margaret Keane, a painter with a very unique style of art whose husband takes credit for her work. Two things strike me about this film. Firstly, it seems to be a scathing critique of the patriarchal values of the 1950’s. Her husband sells her work under her name because he knows people don’t buy paintings from female artists. The film then seeks to show us the devastating effect this has on Keane’s sanity.
Secondly, it’s by far the most conventional looking film of Burton’s career. The only surreal elements seem to be Keane seeing big eyes everywhere she goes once the lies surrounding her life start to get to her. I hope that this is unlike every Tim Burton film ever made, even if that means it loses its directors uniqueness. Focusing on the plot of a movie, rather than the set design or costumes, could teach him lessons about narrative that could get his career back on track. His wacky style and unique look could only take him so far as a director and now he needs to stop relying on them and get back to the business of storytelling. Then we might see the old maestro back.