Kate Hudson set to star as painter Margaret Keane

Sick of watching the ads for the new Kate Hudson romantic comedy, Fool’s Gold, that features yet another hapless man-boy (this time Matthew McConaughey) who can’t commit or hold down a job but is likely to end up with a hottie who doesn’t deserve him on his arm and riches in his pocket? Me too. Luckily, she has something new in the works, and it is unlikely to feature Kate beating a beer-swilling treasure hunter about the head with blunt objects.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Hudson is set to star in Big Eyes, a film about painter Margaret Keane. You may not know Keane’s name, but you will likely recognize her paintings of wide-eyed women, children and small animals that became popular in the 1960s. I think the casting of Hudson in the role is brilliant. I wonder where they got the idea?

 

All snark aside, Keane’s story is interesting and, ultimately, inspiring. Her husband, Walter Keane, sold her work under his own name, and when they divorced in 1965, he refused to relinquish ownership of the paintings. She took him to federal court and won her case, as well as $4 million in damages (though the award for damages was later reversed). After the divorce, Keane moved from San Francisco to Hawaii, where she became a Jehovah’s Witness. Her work became brighter and more upbeat, and Keane reportedly attributed her joyous new approach to life to her religious conversion. (Although I’m thinking that the move to Hawaii couldn’t have hurt either.)

Keane (pictured above with her dog, Chili) now lives in California and continues to paint. You can see her work here. Keane also has some interesting ties to the film industry. According to Wikipedia, both Joan Crawford and Natalie Wood commissioned her to paint their portraits, and director Tim Burton commissioned her to paint a portrait of his then-girlfriend Lisa Marie and their Chihuahua, Poppy. And I see signs of Keane’s influence in the American cinematic classic The Grudge 2:

Big Eyes will be directed by The People vs. Larry Flynt screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

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