Reviewer's grade: A
A documentary about a 4-year-old expressionist painter that becomes a documentary about media distortion and manipulation, "My Kid Could Paint That" is a clever commentary on what happens to normal people when they enter the public eye. Marla Olmstead, the aforementioned preschool-aged painter, takes a backseat to the machinations of her parents, her art dealer, various reporters, art critics and collectors as the assorted cast of her life fights to control the narrative of her celebrity.
Aside from the ethical quandary of making a 4-year-old paint and then perform for the public like a cute little trained monkey, there's also a shadow of charlatanry cast over father Mark Olmstead and art dealer Anthony Brunelli. As they come to find out, fame is difficult to control, and it can ruin anyone who happens to be nearby with the greatest of ease.
Complex and sophisticated, director Amir Bar-Lev creates a multilayered film that asks questions about art, media, narrative and their indifference to fact and real life. In limited release at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24. PG-13