Big Eyes (2014)
Tim Burton reunited with the writers of Ed Wood for his first biopic since then, and it's also by far his most grounded and least stereotypically Burtony film since then - possibly ever.
There are loads of interesting ideas in there: the pressure of maintaining a lie over years; critically acclaimed high art versus commercially successful churned-out kitsch (why would Burton be interested in that, I wonder? ); divorced single mothers and female artists not being taken seriously in the '50s; husbands abusing wives by manipulating them.
The two problems are that those most of those ideas are not explored as thoroughly as I'd like, and that everything in the film is overwhelmed by Christoph Waltz's performance.
I was on board with the film for the first half, when the focus was primarily on Amy Adams playing Margaret Keane, and the tone was pretty well balanced. But then the film began to take the obsessiveness of Waltz's Walter Keane to ever higher levels, and it began to lose me. In the film's Q&A bonus feature, the real Margaret Keane says that Waltz's performance as Walter was not an exaggeration. But from the point when Walter tries to attack Terence Stamp's art critic with a fork (ranting at him in a way that reminded me of the artist-versus-critic scene in Birdman), the extreme fluctuations in tone threw me in a way that made me look less fondly on the whole film. Even though I found out afterwards that apparently some of the bizarre events depicted towards the end of the film *did* happen, I cringed at them instead of finding their absurdity funny.
The film has a narration voiceover, but it turns up so intermittently that I can't see why they bothered including it at all, or why the journalist character who delivers it is present for more than two scenes.
Reading reviews of the film, some people found Danny Elfman's score relentless and overwhelming, but that didn't bother me at all; the music avoids the clichés he's become known for in his other Burton collaborations, and doesn't draw attention to itself.
My rating's about the same as Frankenweenie: 3/5 if I'm feeling generous based on the good earlier sections focusing on Amy Adams, but I'm leaning toward reducing that to 2.5/5 because of how much the annoying elements in the second half bothered me.
As for the paintings themselves that are the whole point of the story, I'm with Jason Schwartzman's art dealer, who gets the film's funniest line: "Who would want to take credit?"
(A bit of trivia that occurred to me and that I should probably submit to IMDb: When Tim Burton was an animator at Disney on The Fox and the Hound, he worked alongside an unrelated artist who happens to have the same surname as this film's characters: the animator Glen Keane.)