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What Maisie Knew

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Apparently this played at TIFF.


A modern adaptation of the 1897 novel by Henry James, the film depicts the complex inner workings of a family struggling through divorce as seen through the eyes of their 7-year-old daughter Maisie, played by newcomer Onata Aprile. The film stars Julianne Moore as Maisie's mother, Suzanna, an aging rockstar engaged in a nasty custody battle with art dealing ex-husband Beale (played by Steve Coogan).

The trailer is a bit un-engaging (and I typically find Henry James pretty arid anyway) but the movie itself might be interesting, no? Did anyone see it at TIFF?

Edited by NBooth
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In further dark-comedy news, as that link shows, I saw WHAT MAISIE KNEW and AMOUR back-to-back at Toronto. And I hated the former for moral reasons and loved the latter despite some immoral behavior contained therein. But, as I hope those two reviews show, I understand that presenting something is not the same thing as advocating something. It "helps" that in the case of WHAT MAISIE KNEW, there was a previous text, so you could see what the film-makers had done.

Didn't have time to say this when I wrote my review, so here's as good a time as any. I asked a question during the Q-and-A, related to my reaction. I asked the director-writer team, close as I can recall, "Maisie ages for about a decade in the course of James' novel. Why did you choose to keep Maisie more or less the same age for the whole film? It seems to blunt some of things the novel was about." Onita Aprile indicated she wanted to answer the question, so they handed her the microphone and she said "because then it would be REALLY long." The house starts roaring with laughter and McGehee or Siegel shrugged his shoulders and said something like "I can't improve on that."

Edited by vjmorton

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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  • 8 months later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought Onata Aprile's performance was one of the better child performances I've seen.  She portrayed such an innocence while she was passed between her self-absorbed parents.  I think the film showed well the vapidity of parents who claim to love their children while not willing to sacrifice their own ambitions for the well-being of the children.

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  • 1 year later...

Watched it last night. I was brutal. My wife's comment was it was good that we never treated our kids like this during divorces. My thought was that perhaps we weren't so extreme, but from a child's perspective, it might have been similar.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film

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