The story is a fascinating tale and the acting is top notch, which makes 'What Maisie Knew' an independent movie with heart and soul. Told from the perspective of six year old Maisie (Onata Aprile), the premise of two parents who are selfish and put themselves ahead of their child is believable. Some of the relationships that develop are not entirely tenable, but the performances of Aprile, and Julianne Moore carry a the story to greater heights. The men in this film are penned with compassion, but are also flawed. Steve Coogan, in a rare dramatic role shines. When Alexander Skarsgård gets a chance to act in something like this he shows the potential he has. Unfortunately, scripts like this one don't often get made into feature length films. Amazingly, this tale was written in 1995 (based on a late 19th century novel), but didn't get made for over 15 years.
The key here is Aprile, and she's up to the challenge in an authentic representation of what would be going through a girl of that age. Her chemistry with her co-stars, effervescence, and willingness to see the good in people despite her surroundings is endearing. Final Score: 7.7/10