What Maisie Knew (2013)
Critic Consensus: It's undeniably difficult to watch at times, but What Maisie Knew ultimately rises on the strength of its solidly sourced script, powerful performances, and empathetic direction.
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Critic Reviews for What Maisie Knew
Sensitive and almost unwatchably perceptive about dysfunctional families -- and it's acted with knife-sharp precision.
The film is touching, filled with taste and care, but not enough to avoid being coy and sentimental.
On the surface, this indie does sound like standard-issue material, but its dynamics are far more complex than its simple exterior.
What Maisie Knew gives the audience a ground-eye view of its mesmerizing title character, a plucky, charismatic New Yorker who navigates downtown bars and building lobbies with the street savvy of a pro.
The result is a film that deeply engages us on multiple levels. Not only do we wonder what Maisie knows and how she knows it, we want to get this seedling to a place where she won't have to be transplanted every day.
It's a study of human nature, not at its worst, but at its most typically pathetic, and it goes to show that the more things don't change, the more they stay lousy.
Audience Reviews for What Maisie Knew
A sensitive and sad film that can be uncomfortable and infuriating sometimes as we witness a child getting caught in the middle of a troubling divorce between her pitiful parents - and it knows how to tackle this delicate matter with the subtlety that it deserves.
Not a bad movie by any means, but really expected something more. With a title like that, I thought there was some huge dark secret to reveal. There's not. What Maisie knows is what it is apparent to the audience pretty much from scene one - her parents are hopeless. That's it. There's no abuse or scandal here. Light drug use is hinted at, but not explored - just two people who shouldn't have been a couple and certainly shouldn't have had a child together. Both parents move on to other partners. It just so happens that the partner Maisie's dad chooses is the nanny hired by her mother. Then both parents behave selfishly and loose their new partners - the two get together and look after Maisie. That's where it gets far fetched and lost me. The child actress who plays Maisie is very good. The adult cast are also effective. The story just could have been so much more than it was.
This is a heart wrenching story of a precious little girl (brilliantly played by Onata Aprile) caught between her two unbelievably, selfish, divorced parents. Nothing terribly bad, or tragic, happens in this movie. However, my heart was breaking just from watching the confusion, and heartbreak, in this little girl's eyes as she is continually let down by her immature parents. This movie is very slow going, but worth the effort. A rather happy, but bittersweet ending, also.....
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