January 3, 2014

What Maisie Knew – What You Need To Know
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

What Maisie Knew – What You Need To Know

What Maisie Knew features a starry cast and gathered rave reviews when it was released briefly into cinemas earlier this year. Here's what you need to know about this whip-smart drama…


What's the background?

The film is an adaptation of author Henry James's (Portrait Of A Lady, The Golden Bowl) 1897 novel re-imagined in modern day New York. Directed by team Scott McGehee and David Siegel, who were responsible for 2008's acclaimed Uncertainty and 2005's off-key adaptation Bee Season, it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival back in 2012.

Despite wowing critics; it didn't emerge in cinemas until earlier this year. Even then, it's release schedule was very limited, meaning this will be a title that may well live on DVD.


What's the plot?

We're in New York where long-time partners Susanna and Beale have just split up, forcing their young daughter Maisie to be shuttled back and forth between their two new homes. As the film progresses, the young girl is caught in the middle of her parents' bitter custody battle and their struggle to make lives with their respective new partners. We see the whole film through the eyes of Maisie, played brilliantly by Onata Aprile, who was seven at the time of filming.

What Maisie Knew
What Maisie Knew What Maisie Knew

Who's in it?

Julianne Moore stars as Maisie's mother Susanna with True Blood man Alexander Skarsgård playing her new partner Lincoln, the ever-present Steve Coogan plays Maisie's father Beale with Joanna Vanderham acting as his new partner Margo. Onata Aprile is the real star though, playing the eponymous Maisie with grace and depth way beyond her years.


Does it deliver?

With style and grace, this is superbly conceived, exceptionally well-acted, thoughtful and poignant adaptation of a difficult novel. Well worth your time.


What Maisie Knew is released on DVD & Blu-ray in hmv stores on Monday (January 6).

What Maisie Knew - Official Trailer

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