What Maisie Knew — movie review
Release date: May 31, 2013
Directed by: Scott McGehee and David Siegel
Written by: Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright
Starring: Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgård and Onata Aprile
Divorce is never easy on the children involved and too often their needs get overlooked. Maybe not always as glaringly spiteful as is the case in “What Masie Knew”, a touching even if off-putting movie starring young Onata Arile as the victim in her parents selfish divorce, but rough nonetheless.
When her parents get divorced, 7-year-old Maisie finds herself stuck in the middle of an ugly custody battle. Mom (Julianne Moore) is a washed up wanna-be rocker, who is more eager to get her tacky career back on track. Dad (Steve Coogan), is a womanizing, cheating bloke who is more concerned about being a globe trotting businessman than he is about where his daughter is spending the night.
Then there is poor Maisie, the cute and wide eyed Arile, who is given little else to do than react to everything going on around her. Mom and Dad waste no time in moving on with their lives, which sadly means finding someone to share a bed with more than it does making sure little Maisie is handling the change in lifestyle.
Enter Joanna Vanderham as Margo, the former nanny turned step-mom to Masie, and Alexander Skarsgård as Lincoln, the party buddy slash bartender boyfriend who ends up being about the only reliable parental figure in this kid’s life. They’re about the only two likable characters in the entire movie, even becoming victims on their own, as Mom and Dad use everyone as they please and toss them away callously.
The film, directed by Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright, spends a lot of time zeroing in on the victims of divorce paining Maisie’s parents as self-obsessed shadows, who fade in and out of their daughter’s life, using her as leverage against each other. It wants you to feel little Maisy’s pain but the problem is that you feel her loneliness and isolation from her parents but even more that she is better off without them.
“What Maisie Knew” is a spiteful and preachy look at divorce and the collateral damage that children become.
- Now You See Me
- Fast & Furious 6
- The Iceman
- Star Trek into Darkness
Stay up to date by subscribing to my movie Examiner column at the top of the page and you’ll get my articles and reviews sent right to your e-mail.
You can also follow me @tbenglish on Twitter, on Facebook or on my own personal website, Bonus Features with t.b. english.