TIGHT on TWO PAINTED EYES. The pupils are impossibly wide.
Imploring. The watery rims spill a single tear.
We PULL OUT... revealing the eyes belong to a child. A young
girl, fingers clasped pitifully. She's forlorn, alone in a
dirty gray alley. We feel shame. Compassion. Sorrow...
Then -- an IDENTICAL girl SLAPS in front of the first one.
Then another! It's a PRINTING PRESS, the creation of a BLUR
of sad children.
A KINETIC montage! HORDES of gazing WAIFS get lithographed,
Huddling in worry. Floating in space. POSTERS.
We ZOOM into a MAGAZINE AD: A 1960's era come-on -- "IT'S
KEANE! MUSEUM-QUALITY ART, MAILED DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOME!"
A blizzard of NEWSPAPER ARTICLES: "Meet America's Million-
Dollar Painter!" "Keane Masterpiece at World's Fair"
Painted EYES float by. Haunting... questioning...
A family Christmas, a Keane print over the
mantel. Kids play bumper pool, a Keane print in the b.g.
A blurry black-and-white TV: A talk show HOST holds up a Keane
MUSIC BUILDS. FASTER. Keane brochures. Catalogs. A flyer:
"Now Open! Keane Gallery"
MORE orphan's faces. Hungry, unblinking, beseeching.
A CRESCENDO -- then -- SILENCE.
A single CARD on black:
"I think what Keane has done is just
terrific. It has to be good. If it
were bad, so many people wouldn't like
-- ANDY WARHOL
EXT. SUBURBIA - 1958
A nice, orderly tract of post-World War II housing. Identical
rows of little yards. Young MOMS. Scampering KIDS.
Then, a SUBTITLE: "TEN YEARS EARLIER"
INT. HOUSE - DAY
CU on two concerned eyes. The same eyes as the paintings. We
REVEAL they belong to a real girl: JANE, 8. She sits in her
small house -- a typical young family's, spare and
Suddenly -- Jane's mother MARGARET ULBRICH, 28, rushes through
frame. Margaret is blonde, yearning, fragile. Terribly
upset, she is hurriedly packing.
Margaret throws her clothes in a suitcase.
She shoves Jane's clothes and toys into another.
Margaret barrels through the breakfast nook, which is a mini
art studio -- easel, canvases, paints. She scoops up her
Margaret runs to the door -- then turns. The hallway is lined
with her PAINTINGS. Oils and inks of wide-eyed Jane, who
grows from baby to toddler to child. Hastily, Margaret takes
them down, each frame leaving an empty mark on the flowered
wallpaper. Finally she reaches the last spot -- a WEDDING
Margaret and her HUSBAND, smiling, happy.
Margaret peers -- then leaves it hanging. The door SLAMS.
EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY
Cars roar down an interstate.
INT. PACKARD - DRIVING - DAY
Margaret grips the wheel, uncertain. Jane stares. The car is
all loaded up. REFLECTIONS of passing BILLBOARDS drift across
the windshield. Images of perky, happy-fake Americans.
Margaret bites her lip. Has she made the right decision...?