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.
I watched this DVD a few days ago and enjoyed it. A little girl is going through the complex relationships between her parents and step parents and it is moving to see how her actual self obsessed genitors do not care for her the way they should. Good acting!
I found it hard to detect a single good thing here. Maybe the effort to make the story sound modern was too strong (considering it's a novel written in 1897!-by H James) or the film was too self-explanatory when in the end was almost pointing to a way of putting the examined issue into the right perspective, But In terms of performances I'd say good it was overall. And still the little girl won the 'race' by a mile!
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.
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