Sleepy sad crooner Lana Del Rey has finally found the perfect project: she's got two songs in Tim Burton's upcoming Big Eyes, the tragic tale of Margaret Keane (played by the glorious Amy Adams) who has an immense talent for painting big-eyed girls, which her husband, Walter Keane, took credit for for years. The two songs are "Big Eyes," in the middle of the film, and "I Can Fly," which will appear on the end credits. Early rumblings suggest that Burton is edging for an Oscar nomination for one of these songs, and even though I am fairly neutral on LDR (sometimes I forget she's even around at all), I think she should take the win.
Last year's winner for "Best Song" went, as expected, to "Let it Go" from Frozen, and the win was definitely deserved. (Remember Adele Dazeem's great performance?) But surprisingly, Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby wasn't even nominated. Time mused that perhaps the melancholy, long-lashed California girl was sabotaged; at the very least, conspiracy theories aside, she was snubbed. "Young and Beautiful" is a fabulous song, and beyond that, Lana Del Rey's brand of lonely, unrequited wealth was a match made in heaven with Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's meditation on The American Dream.
I don't so much enjoy Lana's Ultraviolence, but I love love loved "Young and Beautiful." She seems to shine brightest when inspired by film, and she unsurprisingly fell in love with "Big Eyes." Her producer Larry Karaszewski perfectly captures just why Lana Del Rey was such an apt choice to sing about Margaret Keane's journey:
"Women in particular seem to get the movie, and Lana really got the movie. The whole thing is about a woman who can’t find her voice," he said, and when the title song — with its “big eyes, big lies” refrain — plays at a critical juncture, “it almost becomes a musical. Lana’s song expresses what Margaret is feeling so perfectly, it’s like a soliloquy of her inner thoughts.”
Oscar nominations and winners for best songs, in my opinion, should not only be a microcosm of the film itself, but culturally relevant. And for Del Rey, who seems like she's been wandering quite alone in the world of music, speaks directly to Margaret Keane's experience. Art's been tough on both of them; despite all the praise that Lana Del Rey has gotten, there's still a camp that believes her to be totally artificial.
My expectations may be high, but I trust Tim Burton, and if "Young and Beautiful" is any indication, Del Rey's "Big Eyes" and "I Can Fly" will be epic. And probably haunting, because she's a haunting little spectre herself. It's no wonder Burton chose her. At the very least, I hope she is recognized with a nomination this year.
Images: Getty (2).