Big Eyes

Synopsis: In the late 1950s and early '60s, artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) achieves unbelievable fame and success with portraits of saucer-eyed waifs. However, no one realizes that his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams), is the real painter behind the brush. Although Margaret is horrified to learn that Walter is passing off her work as his own, she is too meek to protest too loudly. It isn't until the Keanes' marriage comes to an end and a lawsuit follows that the truth finally comes to light.
Production: The Weinstein Company
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 18 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
62
Rotten Tomatoes:
72%
PG-13
Year:
2014
106 min
$8,021,168
Website
1,434 Views


FADE IN:

TITLE SEQUENCE:

TIGHT on TWO PAINTED EYES. The pupils are impossibly wide.

Imploring. The watery rims spill a single tear.

We PULL OUT... revealing the eyes belong to a child. A young

girl, fingers clasped pitifully. She's forlorn, alone in a

dirty gray alley. We feel shame. Compassion. Sorrow...

Then -- an IDENTICAL girl SLAPS in front of the first one.

Then another! It's a PRINTING PRESS, the creation of a BLUR

of sad children.

A KINETIC montage! HORDES of gazing WAIFS get lithographed,

bundled:
Huddling in worry. Floating in space. POSTERS.

POSTCARDS. BOOKS.

We ZOOM into a MAGAZINE AD: A 1960's era come-on -- "IT'S

KEANE! MUSEUM-QUALITY ART, MAILED DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOME!"

A blizzard of NEWSPAPER ARTICLES: "Meet America's Million-

Dollar Painter!" "Keane Masterpiece at World's Fair"

Painted EYES float by. Haunting... questioning...

Old POLAROIDS:
A family Christmas, a Keane print over the

mantel. Kids play bumper pool, a Keane print in the b.g.

A blurry black-and-white TV: A talk show HOST holds up a Keane

PAINTING --

MUSIC BUILDS. FASTER. Keane brochures. Catalogs. A flyer:

"Now Open! Keane Gallery"

MORE orphan's faces. Hungry, unblinking, beseeching.

A CRESCENDO -- then -- SILENCE.

A single CARD on black:

"I think what Keane has done is just

terrific. It has to be good. If it

were bad, so many people wouldn't like

it."

-- ANDY WARHOL

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBIA - 1958

A nice, orderly tract of post-World War II housing. Identical

rows of little yards. Young MOMS. Scampering KIDS.

Then, a SUBTITLE: "TEN YEARS EARLIER"

2.

INT. HOUSE - DAY

CU on two concerned eyes. The same eyes as the paintings. We

REVEAL they belong to a real girl: JANE, 8. She sits in her

small house -- a typical young family's, spare and

underfurnished.

Suddenly -- Jane's mother MARGARET ULBRICH, 28, rushes through

frame. Margaret is blonde, yearning, fragile. Terribly

upset, she is hurriedly packing.

Margaret throws her clothes in a suitcase.

She shoves Jane's clothes and toys into another.

Margaret barrels through the breakfast nook, which is a mini

art studio -- easel, canvases, paints. She scoops up her

supplies.

Margaret runs to the door -- then turns. The hallway is lined

with her PAINTINGS. Oils and inks of wide-eyed Jane, who

grows from baby to toddler to child. Hastily, Margaret takes

them down, each frame leaving an empty mark on the flowered

wallpaper. Finally she reaches the last spot -- a WEDDING

PHOTO:
Margaret and her HUSBAND, smiling, happy.

Margaret peers -- then leaves it hanging. The door SLAMS.

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

Cars roar down an interstate.

INT. PACKARD - DRIVING - DAY

Margaret grips the wheel, uncertain. Jane stares. The car is

all loaded up. REFLECTIONS of passing BILLBOARDS drift across

the windshield. Images of perky, happy-fake Americans.

Margaret bites her lip. Has she made the right decision...?

CUT TO:

EST. SAN FRANCISCO - DAY

San Francisco, 1958! A mix of SKYLINES and STOCK FOOTAGE.

EXT. FURNITURE FACTORY - DAY

A weathered building: "G & B FURNITURE SUPPLY." Margaret sits

in the Packard, fixing her lipstick. Jane holds the "WANT

ADS," a few circled. Margaret gets out and straightens her

skirt. Jane smiles.

JANE:

Good luck.

3.

INT. FURNITURE FACTORY - DAY

A beaten industrial office. Margaret sits anxiously, watching

the BOSS, a tired guy in a cheap suit. He glowers unsurely at

her JOB APPLICATION. Scratching his face. Hmmmm...

BOSS:

We don't get many ladies in here. So

your husband approves of you working?

MARGARET:

(quiet; a soft Southern lilt)

My husband and I are separated.

BOSS:

(SHOCKED)

"Separated"?

A deadly silence. He squirms uncomfortably.

She presses on.

MARGARET:

Sir, I realize I have no employment

experience... but I sure need this

job. I have a daughter to support.

(PAUSE)

I'm not very good at tooting my own

horn... but I love to paint, and if I

could just show you my portfolio...

He is baffled. Margaret pulls out a large ARTIST'S PORTFOLIO.

She opens it, riffling through the pictures...

MARGARET:

I studied at the Watkins Art Institute

in Nashville, then took Illustration

classes in New York. Here's a pastel

I did... here's some fashion design...

a portrait in charcoal... though I

enjoy mixing mediums, preferably oil

and ink...

She's alive, enthused.

The guy shakes his head.

Rate this script:3.5 / 2 votes

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski

Scott Alexander (born June 16, 1963, Los Angeles, California) and Larry Karaszewski (born November 20, 1961, South Bend, Indiana) are an American screenwriting team. They met at the University of Southern California where they were roommates; they graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts in 1985. more…

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