What Maisie Knew (Review)

I saw the movie “What Maisie Knew,” a few days ago. It’s a modern adaptation of a Henry James work. And that’s what this review is about today.

In “What Maisie Knew,” the story’s young heroine, Maisie (Onata Aprile), finds herself torn between her two self-absorbed parents, Susanna (Julianne Moore) and Beale (Steve Coogan) in the middle of a bitter custody battle. While I found Maisie’s character very endearing, I found it hard to find any positive attributes in either of her parents. Furthermore, both are constantly putting their careers ahead of Maisie, and the dialogue does a good job of conveying this. Throughout it all, viewers can be captivated by Maisie’s insights and imaginings of a young child in a very difficult situation. As the plot develops, though, Maisie is pulled into an even more complex story.

The steady character developments of the tender-loving Margo (Joanna Vanderham) and the light-hearted Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard), Maisie’s stepparents, really add a fascinating layer to the story. In this movie, it is Margo that acts as the more motherly character: taking care of Maisie, singlehandedly, when she’s sick; attending the school play, etc. The unlikely, but believable connection between Lincoln and Maisie kept me entranced, too. As it is with Lincoln that we see Maisie play with the most. 102042_gal It is the moments when she is separated from one of her stepparents by one of her parents that affected me the most. Ultimately, I was very happy with how the movie resolved itself, for if it end any other way, it could’ve made for a huge disappointment.

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About Philip B.

I'm a recent MLS graduate seeking work as a youth services librarian in a public library. I especially enjoy organizing and presenting storytimes using my puppetry and storytelling skills. I love books, both print and electronic. I also enjoy art, music, theatre and baseball. One of my favorite summer activities is going to the NC mountains and exploring hiking trails.

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