7.5/10
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90 user 171 critic

What Maisie Knew (2012)

R | | Drama | 3 May 2013 (USA)
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2:14 | Trailer

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In New York City, a young girl is caught in the middle of her parents' bitter custody battle.

Writers:

Nancy Doyne (screenplay by), Carroll Cartwright (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Moore ... Susanna
Steve Coogan ... Beale
Alexander Skarsgård ... Lincoln
Joanna Vanderham ... Margo
Onata Aprile ... Maisie
Sadie Rae Sadie Rae ... Zoe (as Sadie Rae Lee)
Jesse Stone Spadaccini Jesse Stone Spadaccini ... Martin (as Jesse Spadaccini)
Diana García ... Cecelia (as Diana Garcia Soto)
Amelia Campbell ... Ms. Baine
Maddie Corman ... Ms. Fairchild-Tetenbaum
Paddy Croft Paddy Croft ... Mrs. Wix
Trevor Long ... Musician #1
Emma Holzer ... Holly
Nadia Gan ... Hostess
Samantha Buck ... Zoe's Mother
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Storyline

WHAT MAISIE KNEW is a contemporary New York City re-visioning of the Henry James novel by the same name, written by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne. It revolves around unwitting 7-year-old Maisie, caught in the middle of a custody battle between her mother Suzanna, an aging rock star, and her father, Beale, a major art dealer. In a race to win the court's advantage, Beale marries Maisie's nanny Margo, prompting Suzanna in turn to marry friend and local bartender, Lincoln. Both forced into a battle neither wishes to be a part of, Margo and Lincoln come to empathize with Maisie's position and over time with one another's. Teased by the notion of making their own surrogate family, the trio must either submit to the will of Maisie's parents or eventually face their wrath. Written by Fortissimo Films [nl]

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hold on with all your heart.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quel che sapeva Maisie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,480, 5 May 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,065,000, 28 July 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Susanna: Want to sleep with mommy tonight?
Maisie: Um hmm.
Susanna: In my bed?
Maisie: Um hmm.
Susanna: You promise not to kick me?
Maisie: I promise.
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Connections

Version of What Maisie Knew (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Red Riding Hood
Performed by Studio Group
Courtesy of Pegasus E.K.
By arrangement with The Orchard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
She knew who really loved her and who cared for her.
28 August 2013 | by Firestorm-86See all my reviews

She knew who really loved her and who cared for her...

She also knew that mummy and daddy were too busy arguing to notice that the pizza guy had arrived. "What Maisie Knew" practically opens mid-tirade and Maisie, a wide-eyed six- year old girl has heard it all before, she skips innocently through their art-deco New York apartment, past her none-the-wiser parents, pulls out a fistful of dollar bills from her own piggy-bank and returns to the door to pay for the pizza.

"What Maisie Knew" is a re-visioning of the 19th-Century Henry James novel by the same name. The story follows Maisie, played by the captivating Onata Aprile , caught in the midst of a custody battle between her aging rock star mother Susanna and art-dealer father, Beale.

Susanna intensely played by the always-brilliant Julianne Moore and Beale (Steve Coogan) only unite in their neglect and emotional abandonment of little Maisie, and both of whom are not above using their daughter as a pawn in their war game.

As they battle on with the messy custody arrangements, Beale marries former nanny Margo (Joanna Vanderham), and in retaliation Susanna also remarries, to young bartender Lincoln, (Alexander Skargard).

As Maisie moves between her parents now separate lives, we unearth a natural connection between Maisie and Lincoln. You feel safe when he is around, even though he doesn't know what he is doing half the time and like Maisie, is out of his depth and unsure where he stands in Susanna's life.

Constantly, Susanna relies on Lincoln to pick Maisie up from school, drop her off, and spend time with her and improvise when necessary.  But as the affectionate bond between her new husband and her daughter grows, Susanna becomes jealous of the relationship to the point of enforcing to Lincoln "you don't get a bonus for making her like you".

"You don't deserve her," Lincoln lashes out as Susanna breaks up with him, expressing exactly what the viewer has been thinking. But as another relationship in Maisie's life ends, it's her resilience that keeps us captivated and in awe of such a brave girl.

The story is told from Maisie's perspective including many shots even captured from Maisie's eye level so we get a fresh look at an unoriginal story. Instead of finding out why a parent leaves her at school, we just see how the child remembers being left alone. Instead of knowing what the parents are fighting about, we see how it impacts the child and her memories of it.

"What Masie knew" is a bleak film but hopeful, it demonstrates that innocence is not something to be wasted and used but cherished and protected. What Masie knew is  to trust the people who actually take care of her - never voicing an allegiance against anyone but accepting love when it's offered


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