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What Maisie Knew is a contemporary New York City revisioning of the Henry James novel by the same name. It revolves around unwitting 7-year-old Maisie, caught in the middle of a custody battle between her mother Susanna, an aging rock star, and her father, Beale, a major art dealer. Written by
In an interview on the NPR program "Fresh Air", Julianne Moore said that she drew on Courtney Love and Patti Smith for inspiration for her character in this movie, who is (like Love and Smith) a rock star who is also a mother. See more »
I've read five previously posted reviews of this film and see no reason to repeat what they've already said. I agree, for the most part, with the positive ones. And I suspect the negative ones were written by people whose established taste in movies should have steered them away from seeing this one in the first place.
What I'll add is, I guess, a mostly personal perspective. I've found that I am lately much more drawn to smaller, more deeply felt movies than to bigger, slicker, higher-production-value ones. To "What Maisie Knew," for example, than to "The Great Gatsby." Even though both source novels share a similar interior aesthetic, the treatment in the former stays inside the characters, where James focused the original (thus causing one of the previous reviewers' comments to the effect that "nothing happens" in the movie), while the latter (possibly because of Luhrmann's well-established directorial predilections)stays resolutely focused on the exterior spectacle and barely skims the surface of Fitzgerald's deeply rendered characterizations.
If you like smaller, more closely observed and deeply felt films, you'll like this one.
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