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My Kid Could Paint That

  PG-13 Closed Captioning

Amir Bar-Lev

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Plot Summary

An Official Selection of both the 2007 Toronto Film Festival and the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, My Kid Could Paint That released in home entertainment on March 4, 2008. Documenting the rise and fall of four-year old artist Marla Olmstead, Amir Bar-Lev's - a much-discussed documentary. According to her parents, Mark and Laura Olmstead, Marla began painting when she was only two. By the time she was four, her work had been exhibited at a gallery and she was profiled in The New York Times. But rumors that her father might be doing the paintings and crediting Marla led to a backlash against the family and, in order to clear their name, the Olmsteads invited filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev to document Marla's technique over the course of a year. The films' release was greeted by controversy, with the Olmstead family speaking out against the documentary on CNN, Nightline, and Good Morning America.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

94%
  • Reviews Counted: 82
  • Fresh: 77
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: I've seen the film twice. It is a wonder, marked by a sense of wondrous skepticism that has nothing to do with cynicism. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Oct 18, 2007

Fresh: Bar-Lev goes to the heart of the issue -- that all art, but especially abstract art -- demands commitment on every side, but commitment takes many forms and has many motives behind it. – Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 13, 2007

Fresh: The truth lurking beneath My Kid Could Paint That is that your kid couldn't paint that. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The self-reflexive narrative is particularly fascinating because Marla's story is so critical to selling her art; everyone involved, the filmmaker included, has a vested interest in proving it genuine or fake. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Interesting, Somewhat Sad at Times, Inquisitive... makes you think

The story is simple enough - did this four-year-old really create this abstract pieces of art, is she a prodigy, is it a gift from God or a bit of a con? Well, you watch and decide for yourself. As for the film, it's ultimately a bit disappointing I must say. Of course, it's interesting to see the phenomenon at the beginning, and as for the little girl, she's just that - a little girl, as sweet as could be. But the first question mark is all about, and maybe this is the more interesting part of the film, abstract art. Who hasn't looked at this stuff in a fine a museum and said what the heck is this? It's just gobs of paint with scribbles. Then you read some long explanation about it's meaning. Well, most of us just nod our heads to be a polite but few of us get it and those of us with some guts are willing to say it's been a con for hundreds of years - well, most of it. That's just what this little girl does - she just plays with paint and then it's astonishing. Well, it's really just cute. When they do begin to explore the story behind her paintings, then the doubts begin - but you listen to both sides and decide for yourself. As documentaries go - good, not great. I really wish itunes would get more decent documentaries on here - Amazon is so much better.

Good Lil Film

After watching the movie I'm inclined to believe Marla is the artist her parents claim her to be. Really this movie isn't about whether she is or isn't, but more about how media corrupts almost everything it touches. She's a really cute kid as is her brother, Zane, and her parents seem like they love their children, though even they get a bit caught up in the excitement. It's a good little film, worth renting, though I wouldn't purchase it (more of a one watch dealio). I wish I could afford one of her paintings, they look beautiful!

Excellent film - film maker handled his situation well

This film really isn't about the kid being the artist or not. It's about how the film maker handled HIS doubts. What a difficult situation to be in! After earning the family's trust - to then be faced with your own doubts. Very well done. My husband and I continue to follow her story. And we firmly believe the little girl did not do those pictures alone. If the Dad had just fessed up about 'helping' it still would have been great art!

My Kid Could Paint That
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings

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