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Dome Pondering Movie Review: What Maisie Knew (2012)

What is it about? 

A young girl is caught in the middle of a bitter custody battle between her ill-focused parents in New York City. 

Who is in it? 

Onata Aprile - Maisie

Julianne Moore - Susanna

Steve Coogan - Beale

Favorite Scene: 

[Spoiler Alert!]

After realizing that Beale was a terrible husband, Margo breaks down in front of her apartment door. Maisie walks over and hugs Margo with Margo immediately apologizing for her comments and her reaction towards Lincoln. Margo asks Maisie, "You like Lincoln, huh?". Maisie responds with a head-nod, a smile, and says, "I love him". 

Favorite Quote:

Lincoln: "I'm her... sorta... like... Maisie's stepfather."

Review: 

I usually don't do this, but I have to lead off with the work of Onata Aprile in this film. Yes, there have been some memorable performances throughout my lifetime in movies, but the work of this little girl is right up there. Possibly just as good simply because of her age. She lulls you away from her age as a viewer, something we typically give children actors leeway on.

Well, if that wasn't enough of an endorsement, What Maisie Knew is a tremendous film. Yes, I'm a sucker for deeply enriching independent films. Blah, blah, blah, you already know the reasons why. However, the topic tackled in this film regarding parenting, childhoods, quality time, and the overall knowledge of children and their feelings, is a remarkable one. 

What I absolutely loved about the film was that you truly never got a full grasp of the entire story. As the viewer, you have no reasoning other than the perspective from which Maisie perceives the situation - the constant fighting, being left at school, the empty promises, and the untrustworthy loved ones. It's a dilemma that is very real, and one that is often overlooked in our own relationships with children and loved ones. 

In this film, I dare you to not feel for Maisie. I dare you. 

And oh yeah, Julianne Moore, who is usually tremendous, was definitely that again in this film. 

Very much recommended for the 93 minute run time. 

Grade: 4/5

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