This is the first feature film directed by Tim Burton to not feature actors with whom he had previously worked. Though Batman was the first Burton film to feature a recurring actor in a major role his early films featured recurring actors in minor parts.
The amount of sales of Margaret Keane Paintings soared ahead of the release of the film, with small paintings being sold for $8,500 a piece. Director Tim Burton also owns an extensive collection of her work. Keane has also painted portraits of Burton's partner Helena Bonham Carter and Burton's former Chihuahua.
Amy Adams liked the script when it was offered to her at first, but she originally turned down the role, because the character lacked "a stronger sense of self". However, working on American Hustle (2013) gave Adams a new perspective of the character, and she was won over because she was intrigued by the character's "quiet dignity", while the relationship between the mother and the daughter spoke to her as well.
Lana Del Rey recorded two songs for the soundtrack, making it her first collaboration with Tim Burton. However, earlier in the year she did a recording for Maleficent (2014), which originally was set to be directed by Burton as well.
Amy Adams' Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Comedy or Musical for this film marks her second consecutive Golden Globe win in that category. Her first win was for American Hustle (2013).
The UNICEF painting that Keane painted for the '64 Worlds Fair, titled Tomorrow Forever, was never actually mounted in the Hall of Education. Robert Moses, who had control over everything that was included in the fair, hated it. Once the NY Times critic Canady trashed it (after seeing a photograph of the artwork) Moses had it thrown into the garbage.
In the opening scenes of the film, Amy Adams character is seen driving her car on a winding road. It goes up a hill towards an obvious matte painting at the top (that doesn't exist in reality.) Within 20 seconds, she is shown driving down the very same "winding hill" that now has a new matte painting at its top, but with different added trees and shrubbery and is shot at a slightly different angle to create the illusion that this is a completely different place, but that she is still driving away from her original location.
The hungry i was one of San Francisco's most influential nightclubs in the 1950s. Originally located at 599 Jackson Street, the owner closed it in the mid-60s due to declining revenue. The rights to the name were purchased by a topless club on Broadway.
The establishing shot of the courthouse shows the famous gold-leaf statue of Kamehameha the Great, the first monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. The building behind the statue is Ali'iolani Hale ("House of the Heavenly King"), home of the Hawai'i State Supreme Court.
When Margaret is upstairs painting alone in a small room, hiding her work from her daughter, Walter comes up and Margaret states she's a bit light headed from the turpentine. As she paints in acrylics and not oils (as is previously indicated in a prior scene) she wouldn't use turpentine as acrylics are water soluble. This mistake is repeated when Walter states "Keanes bleed oil" to a reporter.
When Margaret is in the supermarket, she takes the famous "Campbell Soup", subject of the most famous print by Andy Warhol, just before she recognizes that her art is being reproduced on posters and postcards.
Just as Margaret recognizes when she discovers that even his Paris paintings are fake, we never physically see Walter actually paint. The most we see is of him adding one or two brush strokes to one of Margaret's own works.