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My Kid Could Paint That (2007)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,651 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 27 user | 67 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A look at the work and surprising success of a four-year-old girl whose paintings have been compared to the likes of Picasso and has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Anthony Brunelli ...
Himself
Elizabeth Cohen ...
Herself
Jonathan Crosby ...
(voice)
Ron Curtis Jr. ...
(voice)
Michael Kimmelman ...
Himself
Laura Olmstead ...
Herself
Mark Olmstead ...
Himself
Marla Olmstead ...
Herself
Zane Olmstead ...
Himself
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Stuart Simpson ...
Himself
Jackie Wescott ...
Herself
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Storyline

Four year old Marla Olmstead from Binghamton, New York became the sensation of the art world for her abstract artwork, which have sold for thousands of dollars per piece. The showing of her work started off as a lark, but when the paintings sold without the buyers knowing who the artist was, the media began to run with the story. Through it all, Marla's parents, Mark Olmstead and Laura Olmstead, want to be grounded in what is best for their daughter while exposing her to whatever positive may come from the experience. But some negative and big name media also surfaces, some questioning whether Marla is the real artist behind the work, and some questioning exposing a four year old to such infamy. Regardless, the fact of this art selling brings up the legitimacy of abstract art being quantified as "quality", especially if a four year old can produce it but can't express the emotions or rationale behind its creation. Or is art truly in the eyes of the beholder? Regardless, money, in the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspiration or Manipulation? You Decide.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

14 December 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Das Wunderkind? - My Kid Could Paint That  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$26,290 (USA) (5 October 2007)

Gross:

$231,274 (USA) (1 February 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Amir Bar-Lev: [when Laura starts crying on camera on being doubted] I'm sorry that I brought this into your house.
Laura Olmstead: [bitterly] It's documentary gold.
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Connections

Features 20/20 (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Casanova de Federico Fellini
Written by Nino Rota
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User Reviews

 
An average documentary that excels because of an interesting subject
23 March 2008 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Not a particularly well done documentary – the director doesn't get good enough footage to assemble a "complete" documentary, and it feels a little sloppy in the end. But Bar-Lev, whose second feature documentary this is, was lucky enough to chance upon an controversy that engages the audience nicely. I've certainly been thinking about it a lot for the past couple of days. The film is about a four year-old artist, Marla Olmstead, who took the art world by storm in 2005 with her amazingly sophisticated and beautiful abstract paintings. Marla's output produced a good $200,000 between '05 and '06. Bar-Lev wanted to document this child prodigy, but in the middle of his time spent with the family, the infotainment show 20/20, just one of a host of television news shows that covered the story, broke the angle that Marla's father, an amateur painter himself, may have coached the girl. All Hell breaks loose, the parents become pariahs, and they look to Bar-Lev as a possible savior. Unfortunately for them, Bar-Lev, who all the time has been trying and failing to get film of Marla painting one of her "masterpieces", is swayed by 20/20. It's a lot of fun to look at the evidence provided, to try to read the body language of the parents and try to read between the lines with them. You also have the issue about whether Marla herself was being exploited, which can raise a lot of debate. The film also works as an exploration of modern and abstract art. I myself am a fan of it, and I think there have been plenty of truly beautiful works of non-representational art. But, yeah, there are definitely paintings, some on display at an art auction going for millions of dollars in this film, where even I think the title of the documentary puts it perfectly. Most people are far less accepting than I. The film shows just how much the genre sticks in the craw of the general American public, and, in a sequence where the parents share a host of nasty e-mails with Bar-Lev, many seem just as angry that any of these paintings sold in the first place as they do that the paintings may be a sham. Even the 20/20 segment angles itself as an attack on non-representational art. Also featured are clips of a John Stossel news documentary about abstract art that I remember seeing a while back that really got my goat and has literally been making me angry for years now. Like many documentaries, the film benefits greatly from its DVD extras, which include a 30+ minute followup (which actually caused me to lose some sympathy for the parents; I seemed to be one of the few people who watched this movie and sympathized with them), and a great 15+ minute defense of abstract art by New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman.


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Does an artist know how to draw realistically? ninetymin
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