IMDb > My Kid Could Paint That (2007)
My Kid Could Paint That
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My Kid Could Paint That (2007) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 14 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
My Kid Could Paint That -- A toddler's flair for abstract art makes her an  overnight celebrity--until a T.V. exposé points  an accusatory finger at her father.
My Kid Could Paint That -- 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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7.2/10   2,758 votes »
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Release Date:
18 October 2007 (Australia) See more »
Inspiration or Manipulation? You Decide.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Human Interest Story or Hoax? We May Never Know.... See more (27 total) »



Amir Bar-Lev ... 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

Celeste Russi ... (voice)

Tara Sands ... (voice)
Stuart Simpson ... Himself
Jackie Wescott ... Herself

Directed by
Amir Bar-Lev 
Produced by
Amir Bar-Lev .... producer
John Battsek .... executive producer
Stephen Dunn .... co-producer
Richard Klein .... executive producer: BBC
Sara Nolan .... associate producer
Andrew Ruhemann .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Rondo Brothers 
Cinematography by
Matt Boyd (director of photography)
Nelson Hume 
Bill Turnley 
Film Editing by
Michael Levine 
John W. Walter  (as John Walter)
Production Management
Christopher Kenneally .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Ryan Carroll .... sound recordist
Mark Garcia .... adr mixer
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... supervising sound editor: 701 Sound
Eric Offin .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Sacco .... dolby sound consultant
Ira Spiegel .... sound effects editor: 701 Sound
Ryan Zappin .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Amir Bar-Lev .... additional camera operator
Bryan Donnell .... additional camera operator
Guy Fiorita .... additional camera operator
Jason Lelchuk .... additional camera operator
Rachel Libert .... additional camera operator
Jenna Rosher .... additional camera operator
Jenna Rosher .... camera operator
Laleh Soomekh .... additional camera operator
John W. Walter .... additional camera operator (as John Walter)
Dan Zappin .... additional camera operator
Animation Department
Anthony Kraus .... animator: Noisy Neighbor Productions
Stefan Nadelman .... animator: Tourist Pictures
Editorial Department
Anne Alvergue .... additional editor
Tricia Chiarenza .... color timer
Will Cox .... on-line editor: Final Frame
Penelope Falk .... additional editor
Liam Lawyer .... additional editor
Aaron Lubarsky .... additional editor
Sandy Patch .... assistant on-line editor
Gabriel Rhodes .... additional editor
Trevor Ristow .... additional editor
Music Department
Jeff Daniel .... music supervisor: Rock River Music
Mariusz Glabinski .... music editor
Jeff Booth Diamond Ring .... music licensing: Rock River Music (as Jeff Diamond)
Jeff Booth Diamond Ring .... music supervisor: Rock River Music (as Jeff Diamond)
Other crew
Jessica Berman Bogdan .... clearances (as Jessica Berman-Bogdan)
Jessica Berman Bogdan .... researcher (as Jessica Berman-Bogdan)
Paul Brennan .... legal services: Sloss Law Office
Peter Broderick .... consultant
Jonathan Crosby .... consultant
Carl Deal .... archival consultant
Winston Emano .... publicist
Craig A. Emanuel .... legal services: Loeb & Loeb (as Craig Emanuel)
David Fox .... legal services (as David Fox Esq.)
Steven Gravatt .... production intern
Jo Haslam .... production intern
Peter Jaszi .... legal services
Noah Kistler .... production intern
Julia Landau .... production intern
Melanie Vi Levy .... production intern (as Melanie Levy)
David Magdael .... publicist
Holly Cara Price .... clearances
Holly Cara Price .... researcher
Benjamin Rutkowski .... production intern
Steve C. Schechter .... legal services (as Steven C. Schechter)
Tina Shaerban .... production intern
Emi Takahara .... production intern
Stephen Trapp .... production intern
Anne Stulz .... publicist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for language
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Michael Kimmelman:All writers, all storytellers, are imposing their own narrative on something. I mean, all art in some ways is a lie. It looks like a picture of something, but it isn't that thing, it's a representation of that thing... Your documentary is itself going to be a lie...See more »
Movie Connections:
Features "The Jane Pauley Show" (2004)See more »
When I Paint My MasterpieceSee more »


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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Human Interest Story or Hoax? We May Never Know...., 1 April 2008
Author: evanston_dad from United States

Meet Marla Olmstead, a cute, seemingly normal 4-year-old girl. Then see the paintings Marla creates, hailed by the art world as the works of a prodigy abstract artist. Now meet Amir Bar-Lev, documentary filmmaker so fascinated by Marla's story that he decides to make a movie about it. Then along comes a "60 Minutes" investigative report that throws into question the claim that Marla alone is responsible for her paintings, and Bar-Lev's film switches gears mid-stream. Suddenly, he's begging the parents of this little girl to prove to him that their story is legitimate, so that his film won't end up being one more expose declaiming the family as frauds.

This ambiguous and disquieting film never answers the central question: are Marla's works her's alone, or did she receive "help" from her father or possibly, as some suggest, the bitter art gallery owner who takes credit for discovering her? Bar-Lev tries his best to gather evidence to support the Olmsteads' claims, but that evidence never materializes. The kind of painting Marla does when she's being filmed is the type that any four year old would do; all of her paintings are "finished" off camera. And Marla herself just doesn't act like a prodigy in the way of other child prodigies. Bar-Lev can't even get her to talk about her paintings, and she seems detached not only from the artworks but from everything else around her. Only once do the Olmsteads themselves film Marla creating a painting from start to finish, and they use this painting to prove to the world that they're not making their story up. But virtually everyone but the Olmsteads themselves seem to think that this painting looks very different from the finished ones hanging in art galleries and selling for thousands of dollars.

Whatever the true story is, the film leaves the distinct impression that something is amiss with this seemingly all-American family. The dad seems cagey; the mom seems to be working overtime to convince herself that everything is normal. A telling interview with the two parents that closes the film suggests that the couple may not be completely happy with one another -- their body language and lack of eye contact with one another conveys that. One senses that the dad is seeing some of his own dreams for fame realized through his daughter; the mom seems to be going against the maternal instincts that are telling her enough is enough. As objective as Bar-Lev tries to be, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the Olmsteads (or at least Mark Olmstead, the father) is bamboozling (or at least trying to bamboozle) everyone, possibly even his wife.

"My Kid Could Paint That" is not the kind of documentary that pursues answers to the questions it raises. Bar-Lev seems almost too cautious not to offend anyone for his film to have any real bite. But the questions it does raise are interesting ones: what is the validity of abstract art? Does the age of the artist have an impact on the art's quality? Would Marla's paintings have received as much attention and acclaim if they were produced by an adult, or in buying Marla's paintings, are people really buying a piece of Marla?

I felt a little guilty watching this film, because I wanted the set up to be a fraud from the start. I don't know why that is, and I wonder if as I watched the film this attitude made me see the story I wanted to see rather than the story as it actually was. But if I can be accused of that, then so can Bar-Lev, and so can the Olmsteads themselves, who, whether their story is true or not, put it before the world and packaged it for maximum effect.

Grade: A-

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