Based on the Henry James novella, the story frames on 7-year-old Maisie, caught in a custody battle between her mother – a rock and roll icon – and her father. What Maisie Knew is an evocative portrayal of the chaos of adult life seen entirely from a child’s point of view.
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A very solid and gentle look at the complexities of human relationships as seen through the eyes of a child caught between two parents rapidly drifting apart. Cliche-free performances coupled with direction that avoids sentimentality in several touching key scenes elevate this domestic drama and provide ample opportunity to reflect on the ego, selfishness and possession. 3.5 stars
Aprile, Moore and Coogan were top notch. Maybe its just me, but the cutesy, music box flavored music annoyed me. I found it distracting in an otherwise very solid movie. When music is used like this, it adds an unnecessary and manipulative layer to scenes that are strong enough alone without you being reminded that this is an innocent child being subjected to the ill behavior of 2 incredibly irresponsible parents.
Very well acted and directed; nothing life-changing however. Overall solid and worth seeing, sometimes the suggestions and hints towards darkness and the fear of the potential disasters are more powerful than everything actually going drastically wrong.
McGehee/Siegle's adaptation is less about the travails of divorce per se, and specifically about "the erosion of innocence in the midst of plenty," as Boston Globe's Ty Burr put it. Further, "it catalogs the many insults, small and large, against Maisie’s faith in the adult world." Well paced and supported by performances that hit all the right notes across the board, most especially Aprlle, who was only 6! Loved it.