Reflections on What Maisie Knew #whatmaisieknew
Last week I had the privilege to attend a private MomTrends screening of What Maisie Knew starring the amazingly talented Julianne Moore and equally so Alexander Skarsgård. Based on the original novel by Henry James but set in modern day, visually beautiful, New York City, it is a powerful film illustrating family dysfunction through the eyes of a 6 year old. So well done, many in parts due to the adorably loveable Onata Aprile, you are emotionally drawn in. I personally don’t have any experience with the breakup of a family, but left this movie with a wide-eye understanding of the emotions it can bring to everyone, especially the children.
While Susanna, played by Julianne Moore, is definitively a terrible mother by any definition, I found myself empathizing with her. No one would argue that she didn’t love Maisie, but it just wasn’t enough. She was more than selfish and self-centered but she did love Maisie. I believe and hope in the end that her love let Maisie have happiness with Lincoln and Margo. I most loved how they illustrated the resilience of a 6 year old. As a parent watching the movie, your emotions run deep and high — everything from crying for Maisie to wanting to grab Maisie and run. I marveled at how she was able to navigate through the neglect and all the turmoil and shine through as the true adult in her family.
What Maisie Knew is showing at the Angelika Theater in NYC and opens nationwide on May 17th.