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Review: What Maisie Knew


Loosely based on Henry James' short novel of the same name, What Maisie Knew is the latest in a recent stream of deeply affecting films told from a child's point of view. The title can be taken literally, as the film shows exactly what a precocious 6-year-old girl sees when her two absent and self-obsessed parents (Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan) fight over her custody out of sheer hatred for one another. Some scenes are actually shot from Maisie's height, with adults cut off at mid-torso. The technique is used sparingly and helps draw us into Maisie's uncertain world. Filmmaking partners Scott McGehee and David Siegel (The Deep End) avoid kid-movie cliches, instead developing an engaging character study for adults with a remarkable pint-sized figure (beautifully played by Onata Aprile) at its center. That works from just about any perspective. — KEN KORMAN

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