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4.5 out of 5 stars55
4.5 out of 5 stars
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I put off viewing this film for a long time thinking it would only show a child being exploited for the film. To my great surprise and delight, I found an endearing film, showing exactly what a child needs, love.

Maisie is a six year old living in a lovely apartment in Manhattan. Her parents, Susanna played by Julianne Moore, is a rock star, not a very convincing one in this film, however. Maisie's father, Beale, payed by Steve Coogan, is a businessman, who has no concept of what a father should be. Maisie becomes the pawn in these people's fights. Susanna loves her daughter, but lives such a narcissistic existence, she is not a good one. Divorce us inevitable, and Maisie is split between both parents. Each parent forgets to pick her up. Little Maisie in the middle is only looking for lve with no strings attached. Odonata Aprile plays Maisie and an exquisite performance she gives.

Maisie's nanny Margo, played by Joanna Vanderham, is a young woman who truly loves Maisie. Maisie's mother remarries to a very young bartender, named Lincoln, played by Alexander Skarsgard. Lincoln becomes Maisie's caregiver when Susanna goes in the road and he and Maisie develop a tender, sweet relationship. Some of the film is unrealistic, and limits the film's true meanings.

Maisie knows what she needs and wants. An adult who loves her unconditionally, and is there for her. She finds it, but not with her parents.

Recommended. prisrob 11-23-13
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 January 2015
Set in contemporary Manhattan this impressive quietly understated film shows us the world of 6-year-old Maisie from her perspective as she observes the changes occurring in her family life. Her manipulative neurotic mother and distant narcissistic father are too wrapped up in their own selfish and separate worlds to give their daughter any meaningful attention. Steve Coogan and Julianne Moore are excellent as the two self-obsessed adults wilfully neglecting their daughter who silently plays in her room hearing their vicious arguments through the floorboards. After the inevitable divorce Maisie is further neglected as her parents appear to regard her as an inconvenience to their busy lives despite both demanding legal custody. Throughout this disturbing silent tragedy it is Maisie’s innocent resilience which shines through and Onata Aprile’s performance as the vulnerable child is magnificent. Despite the callous behaviour displayed by her parents there is an underlying optimism to the film as we see Maisie gradually bonding with two adults who show her kindness and affection. Although the film lacks any overt sentimentality there is no doubt that it packs a hard emotional punch. A highly recommended watch to any parent or prospective parent.
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on 1 February 2016
A film that may take a bit of building but is well worth sticking with. Maisie is a beautiful young girl who's parted parents appear to see her as an inconvenience rather than a daughter. There are times they show love and affection but their careers clearly take first place,Maisie adores them both but is clearly feeling torn apart by them. The new partners of each parent soon get closer to Maise than they are,she is good as gold but simply must be confused by the handing over of her from one person to another,even at times like a hot potato. What the little girl need is love and stability and though she is easy to love,she clearly doesn't feel she belongs anywhere.
The acting on all parts is very impressive with some good characters,the story builds and maybe the climax is obvious but it works well.
Not a well known movie,but it really should be,it's a pity movies like this get ignored for so so ones that have been done loads.
Seriously,give this a go. I'm not surprised many love it.
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on 14 February 2014
This is an exceptionally acted and written film, the premise of which is based on a book over a hundred years old. All of the story is told from Maisie's point of view so we aren't privy to all the details of the deteriorating relationship between her parents but we get to see that despite people trying to protect children in such situations, they see and understand much more than we'd like to think. This is at times hard to watch; Beale's (Coogan) and Suzanna (Moore) parenting skills are severely lacking making it difficult to like them, so it's lucky that the step-parents are there to help. Step father Lincoln (Skarsgard) gives us a different performance to what we're used to seeing with a charming but bumbling slacker while Margot (Vanderham) plays the step mum perfectly. The star of the movie, however, is Maisie herself played by Onata Aprile. I cannot recommend this movie enough; not one for you if you love street racing and explosions, but definitely thought provoking.
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on 28 November 2013
Exquisitely crafted, this movie, based on the novel of the same name, tells the tale of Maisie, whose selfish parents put themselves first at every opportunity. Julianne Moore portrays the spoilt bitch rock star perfectly and Steve Coogan does detached father to a tee.

The shining star, of course, is Onata Aprile, whose portrayal of Maisie is brilliant. This movie is poignant and moving and well worth watching as it reminds us all that what a child needs is not gifts, or toys, or trips or lack of rules, but true, abiding, unconditional, selfless love.

I will be purchasing the DVD after watching this on the plane.
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VINE VOICEon 10 March 2014
Masie is the daughter of an ageing rockstar and partner. Right from the start of the film the relationship is in trouble and soon breaks down, with Maisie becoming a pawn in the game of revenge that the two play out. What's engaging about this is that we see this from Maisies point of view. She is in every scene and we only learn what she is told. This works remarkably well, leading you to a different perspective, taking Maises side and seeing her needs and her remarkable trust. On one level it's heartbreaking to see the worst selfishness of the adults, but you also see how much love people can show to a child - even on that is not their own.

Top notch performances all round make this work perfectly.
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on 15 January 2014
Six year old Maisie (Onate Aprile) is caught in the middle of a fierce and acrimonious split between her parents, Susanna (Julianne Moore) and Beale (Steve Coogan). The result of the parents' in-fighting is that poor, little Maisie is shoved from pillar to post between each dysfunctional parent, their nanny, Margo (Joanna Vanderham), and Susanna's surprise new husband, bartender Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard).

What Maisie Knew [DVD] follows the endearing story of little Maisie's survival and search for a loving home and family life; it ends full of hope in the hands of two people one might not have expected at the beginning: the nanny and the bartender. Throughout the film, though, the viewer is kept on tenderhooks, and disbelief that despite each parent's professed love for their child, their own selfishness and narcissism is what shines through.

I was lucky enough to watch What Maisie Knew [DVD] at the Roslyn Cinema on Long Island while I was visiting my brother in June 2013, although I have yet to read the Henry James novel of the same name on which it is based. It was such a moving film, and with superb acting from all involved - especially from Onate in her debut role. I had hoped to watch it again upon its UK cinema release. Unfortunately, with a hectic work schedule, I missed it at the local cinema, but I was able to pre-order the DVD for when that was released last week.

The deleted scenes in the Bonus Features section are excellent, and the directors' commentary is both interesting and informative. All are certainly worth watching too.

Several excellent films were released last year. However, in my opinion, What Maisie Knew [DVD] is possibly the best film of 2013.
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on 18 January 2014
I share most of the opinions expressed in the reviews about this film - indeed I feel it should be required viewing for all would-be parents. The performances are all good but most especially that of young Onata Aprile - what a prodigy! - the film is shot very much from her point of view in all senses, and I found myself reacting to the unfeeling and uncomprehending comments and behaviour of her parents very much as she did! Incidentally, although this is a rather dark film, it is much less so than the original by Henry James - if you read that you'll see what I mean, though it does have a kind of happy ending. Maybe to keep too close to the book would have produced too black a film.

My only slight criticism really is that the film's plot was much creakier than the book's - what likelihood was there that someone like Margo and, especially, Lincoln would get involved with Maisie's parents in the first place? Their appearance was just a convenient plot device.

However that said it's good to see a film that relies on fine acting and sensitive (conventional) camera work without any special effects!
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on 4 May 2014
A good movie for people that like a good feel family drama, the little girl, Maisie was excellent in the role.
An insight in many ways to modern living.
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on 4 March 2014
As a mother and grandmother I was deeply moved and saddened by this brilliant film about a dear little girl who was totally neglected and manipulated by her selfish parents. The young actress who played Maisie did an excellent job of portraying how adaptable and accepting a young child can be. My husband asked me if the film was based on a true story and all I could say was that I hoped not although I am sure these type of characters and worse do exist.
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