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What Maisie Knew (2012)

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

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ON DISC
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
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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

Working with 6-year-old actress Onata Aprile meant that the crew had to do most of the filming before her bedtime. However, during a scene that had to be filmed at night, Aprile fell asleep, and could not be woken up. The scene had to be shot two weeks later. 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 (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

S.O.S
Written by Austin Taylor Trado
Performed by Austin Taylor Trado
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thoughtful, beautiful, amazingly constructed Henry James update
1 December 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

What Maisie Knew (2012)

A truly remarkable movie, filled with great acting, masterful editing and filming, and terrific writing. The basis of it all is the core here, a glimmering Henry James novel by the same title from over 100 years earlier. It's amazing how well the story holds up set in contemporary times, and changed in many necessary (and interesting) ways. What it keeps it going is the basic heartbreaking drama of a child tossed between two indifferent parents.

The mother might be seen as the main actor here, Julianne Moore, and this is the best I've ever seen her, I think. She gives a slightly fiery performance, and "slightly" is perfect, avoiding an overacting job suggested by her role as a slightly successful rock and roll star. She's terrifically awful and you come to hate her, appropriately.

The father (Steve Coogan) also puts in a sharp performance playing the lively, fun parent who is a selfish womanizer, hiding, sometimes, his flaws from his daughter. His relationship with the mother is not detailed very far because it is mostly one of distance and disdain. And mutual abuse.

The real star here is the girl, an utterly charming and beautifully effective actress, Onata, Aprile. She succeeds not by her delivery of great lines, but by her expressions. It's all because Henry James understood something delicate about children in these situations: they know what's going on and don't say it. And they also don't let it affect them because they simply can't afford to, or because they become hardened in some little ways, making them withdraw or act out. That Maisie maintains a delicious sweetness without playing the victim is quite remarkable, and Aprile is brilliant.

The secondary woman and man in the story are also terrific, and their roles grow as the movie grows. In fact, they become the sympathetic heart of things.

Pulling this together is the directing pair, McGehee and Siegel. This is their fifth movie together, and neither man has directed anything without the other. I've not seen any of the other four, but the reviews are middling to poor for all of them, so I'm not sure how far the novelty takes us. But it works here perfectly, making the complexity unfold quickly and coherently.

It's an ordinary drama on the surface, but let this one sink in over time. It's that good.


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