What Maisie Knew is a beautiful and harrowing adaptation of Henry James’ novella of the same name. The film is set in New York City where wretchedly narcissistic parents musician Susanna (Julianne Moore) and art dealer Beale (Steve Coogan) are battling it out for custody of their 6-year-old daughter Maisie (Onata Aprile).
It’s a darkly comic portrayal of family life and everyone involved has managed to capture the chaos and complexity of divorce, seen entirely from the child’s perspective.
Moore and Coogan play their terrifying characters so convincingly that you should end up hating them, and Aprile, who is mostly silent throughout the film conveys more in her giant brown eyes than could ever be said out loud. (AE)
BY ALEXANDRA ENGLISH