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Review: 'What Maisie Knew' Is Deeply Affecting, Hard To Watch

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 2, 2013 5:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
What Maisie Knew
It’s often an easy way to handicap your film, by centering it on a child character and demanding a great deal from the young actor. By definition, children are not fully-formed people, but a character in a film must be either fully-formed to yield proper dramatic results, or so uniquely authentic that it’s like catching chaos in a bottle, an approach that can create a serious cognitive dissonance when youth collides with seasoned actors. Remarkably, such chaos is present in young Onata Aprile, the title character of “What Maisie Knew,” an affecting new contemporary drama that never once feels phony when the camera is fixed on her face.

Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard & Steve Coogan To Star in 'What Maisie Knew'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 11, 2011 12:12 PM
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Scott McGehee and David Siegel are a curious directing pair. With a mere four films across over fifteen years, they've made consistently interesting work without ever quite knocking one out of the park. Their noirish racial-identity debut "Suture" is arguably their best -- championed by Steven Soderbergh, and with a terrific turn by Dennis Haysbert, it still holds up well today. Their long-awaited follow up "The Deep End" had another storming central performance, from Tilda Swinton, but had a more straightforward take on the genre, while kabbalistic spelling oddity "Bee Season," with Richard Gere, didn't really work, and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt indie "Uncertainty" never got much traction with audiences or critics.

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