Amy Adams is starring in a movie directed by Tim Burton about a woman whose husband tricked the world into believing he was the one behind her artwork.
"No one will ever know but you," Adams says, confessing her big secret to her dog in the opening part of the trailer. Adams plays Margaret Keane (a part that Kate Hudson was originally cast in), a artist who created those "big eyes" paintings like this one. They were originally sold and marketed as the work of her husband Walter Keane (played by Christoph Walz), who took credit publicly for making them and tried to hide that fact from his wife. Big winner right there.
Margaret Keane told the Los Angeles Times during an interview in 2000 that when she realized her husband was taking credit for her work, it was too late. "It had been going on for two years by the time I found out he was telling people he was the artist. And by then, it was hard to change everything," she said. "He could talk to anybody and convince them of anything." In the trailer, Waltz's character happily brushes off his fraud by telling his wife "people don't buy lady art." Pedantic point:"Lady Art" is not simply art made by women, it's art where you use your vagina to physically paint your own account of all the times you were personally wronged by the patriarchy.
She eventually went along with his lie. Keane said back when she was working on the art, she even had to hide the secret from her own daughter. They made BANK from her paintings and it should come as no surprise to you that when divorced (sorry, real life stories don't get "Spoiler Alerts" from me) she fought to get the recognition (and money) she was due.
Apparently she challenged him to an actual "paint off" in court to prove that she really was the one who made the paintings. That's right, it's a MOTHERFUCKING "PAINT OFF." (Wouldn't it be great if someone actually said that in court? My ideas for how we can fix life and everything in it are SO WORTH listening to; please download a copy of my manifesto, thanks).
Even after her divorce, Keane's dark days weren't over. A long legal battle over who painted the waifs lay ahead, culminating in a 1985 courtroom paint-off in Honolulu, where both were then living. Walter, however, declined to participate, citing a shoulder injury. "It took one hour," Margaret said. "I did the eyes, the nose and the mouth; then during the lunch break I did the hair and the background."
She won the case, but a $4 million settlement was deemed too excessive on appeal."I didn't want money anyway," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I just wanted legal victory."
Krysten Ritter is also in the film, but it's hard for me to talk about her because then I have to relive the trauma of remembering that Don't Trust the B—— in Apartment 23 was cancelled. I admit I am very interested. It doesn't look like a typical Burton movie but it's a just a trailer so who knows, Johnny Depp may still show up in weird makeup somewhere along the way. Hopefully taking a step back from the genre/style he's become famous for will help him get back to his roots as a great director/storyteller. (Please?)