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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 »
This is what I hope Henry James would have written, were he alive today. The book is tough sledding, late James when he was dictating his novels (due to tendinitis), and there was no holding him back. At least one Harvard professor called him "the greatest American novelist," but this work is deservedly minor.
The movie was perfect, in the top 1% of all I've seen. The style was the antithesis of James, radical "showing" instead of "telling."
I think the title should have been "What Maisie SAW," but that's too titillating. What she knew or felt only her future therapist will learn. We do have a hint though when her father throws her mother's flowers away, and M explains, "He was allergic."
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