DVD Review: What Maisie Knew
What Maisie Knew is a modern adaptation of Henry James’ 1897 novel of the same name, about two very self centered parents who get divorced and the little girl caught in the crossfire.
The film begins with the two parents (Julianne Moore as Susanna and Steve Coogan as Beale) arguing and the nanny trying to shield Maisie from the worst of it. The resulting slip puts Beale in the spotlight as the bad husband but it’s not long before we see Julianne Moore’s brilliant performance as a rock star wanna be mother, whose need for parties, drinking and drugs places Maisie in a truly neglected and essentially unwanted position.
Our allegiance quickly changes to Beale who is increasingly looking like the better parent, until he makes the dastardly move of marrying their young nanny, and calling in his lawyers to get custardy of Maisie.
Not to be outdone, Susanna marries an equally young bartender and gets joint custody.
It’s not long however before each parent’s true colours come shining through and both marriages are sen for what they are; a way to get back at their spouse, and an inbuilt babysitter for Maisie.
But the good thing is that both the nanny and the bartender really love Maisie, so despite the parents inability to recognise what parenting is, Maisie does have a couple of people who love her unconditionally.
What Maisie Knew is obviously a real tear jerker of a film, but it’s also one that is not only well written, but a film where the five main actors absolutely nail their respective roles, even trashy vampire Alexander Skarsgard puts in a credible performance. What Maisie Knew is probably one of the best family dramas you will see this year.
Rating: M Offensive language.
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