Through Innocent Eyes
Six year old Maisie (Onata Aprile) lives in New York apartment with her mum, Susanna (Julianne Moore), a singer in a rock band, who is doing battle with her former husband, Beale (Steve Coogan), an international art dealer, for the custody of Maisie. It isn't pleasant for Maisie as her parents argue and get extremely nasty when it comes to having custody. For Maisie she ends up spending more time with nanny, Margo (Joanna Vanderham), and her mum's young friend Lincoln (Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd), giving Maisie some of her happiest days.
I don't know if most divorce situations are like the one shown in "What Maisie Knew" but the one they use certainly works to grab your attention. In fact "What Maisie Knew" is one of those movies which when you start to watch you find yourself becoming hooked even though some of the time it almost crawls to a stop with some slow scenes.
But once again "What Maisie Knew" is one of those movies where the power is in the discovery watching and finding yourself in engaged as the story unfolds. What I will say is that we are shown a case where divorced parents want custody of their daughter but whilst they both love her; their desire is more a case of not wanting the other one to win. As such we see how Maisie isn't so much a pawn who is used in the divorce but a victim of two busy parents who whilst wanting her don't actually have the time for her. And trust me it certainly makes you feel something because Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan make for not so much despicable parents but self centred ones.
Now I could so on about Moore and Coogan but the star of "What Maisie Knew" is young Onata Aprile who simply brings to the screen that innocence of a young child. It means that you really feel for her not because she does something cutesy but because when she sits there quietly in the lobby of the school waiting to be picked up you get a sense that she has wrongly got use to being forgotten about. Onata also works well with Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Joanna Vanderham who shine in their unusual parts.
What this all boils down to is that "What Maisie Knew" is simply an eye opening and touching movie which takes you by surprise by being engaging despite at times feeling incredibly slow.