My Kid Could Paint That (PG-13) 82 minutes B+
But can yo Daddy paint that?
Starring Amir Bar-Lev, Anthony Brunelli, Elizabeth Cohen, Michael Kimmelman, Laura Olmstead, Mark Olmstead, and Marla Olmstead
My Kid Could Paint That was suppose to be a documentary about Marla Olmstead, a four-year-old art prodigy, who at age four had sold over $300,000 worth of paintings. Her talents were being compared to Pollack and Kandinsky, and she was taking the art world by storm.
That is, until 60 minutes aired a story implying that the young artist couldn't have created these paintings on her own. Coincidentally her father, a night shift manager at Frito Lay, is also an aspiring amateur artist, hmmm...
The documentary plays out like reality TV at its best. The adorable and precocious four-year-old was discovered on a whim when a family friend hung one of her paintings in a nearby cafe, the painting sold and the rest is history. Her mother, a dental assist, prefers to shy away from the spotlight, while dad revels in it. They're an all-american family with all-american looks. But once doubt and suspicion began to penetrate their new found semi-celebrity status it spread like a disease. All of a sudden everyone questioned the validity of the young artist and her parents. Even the creator of the film began to wonder if he was being punk'd.
This film starts sweet and simply, but turns emotional and mysterious. It's also an interesting take on honest journalism and honest documentary film making. Bravo to Amir Bar-Lev (the film's creator) for taking such a simply subject (in concept) and turning it into an intriguing "whodunit"... literally.