What Maisie Knew -- A Review

Here is a contemporary adaptation of Henry James' respected eponymous 1897 novel directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel. Maisie is the kindergartner offspring of a self-involved rock singer, Susanna (a blistering Julianne Moore), and an equally unreflective international art dealer, Beale (a distant, philandering, unlovable Steve Coogan, abjuring his uproarious comic side for this fad-sad-trad dad). The convolutions and setbacks, wrangles and self-righteousness of an acrid divorce and custody battle are displayed here, all from the point of view of the child in question, sweet 5- or 6-year-old Maisie. The casting is particularly daring, because both Moore and Coogan are well-loved for their frequent, winning simulacra of beloved characters. But we give them the leeway they earn as frivolous and heedless bits of parental flotsam. We willingly cede our ingrained habit of instant affection for these limbic, obliviously self-concerned parents of a most adorable, deserving child,...(Read Full Article)