Netpix: What Maisie Knew
We sift through the Netflix ocean, so you don’t have to…
Rating: 8 /10 *
Staring: Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgård, Joanna Vanderham and Onata Aprile
When to watch: Basically any time, but preferably with loved ones and not when you’re feeling too sketchy.
Set in modern-day NYC, What Maisie Knew is – improbably – an adaptation of the Henry James novel from the late 1800s. It’s the story of the young daughter of a wildly dysfunctional couple who take the biscuit for irresponsible parenting… Before you get worried that it’s a tale of physical abuse and what not, it isn’t. But if a child being left for hours on end with total strangers triggers bad memories for you, look away now.
Maisie, played by Onata Aprile, is the wide-eyed six (ish) year old in question, who remains totally stoical in the face of her parents’ disintegrating relationship and the resulting upheaval of her life. Moore and Coogan are thoroughly unlikable as her immature, self-absorbed parents… So bleak is the first two thirds of the film that it’s hard not to think something utterly awful is going to happen to little Maisie. (*SPOILER ALERT*: it doesn’t.)
The final half an hour takes a turn for the better, as Alexander Skarsgard and Joanna Vanderham step in to the picture to take care of Maisie. Cue heart-warming scenes and even the odd tear-jerkingly sweet moment (hence the recommendation to watch with loved ones, and when feeling mentally robust). The film is slow paced and thoughtful and – in the reviewer’s humble opinion – brilliant. Watch it; then call your mum and tell her you miss her. And your dad. And basically everyone. And if you have kids yourself; buy them a turtle and love them and love them and love them. *weep*
* Netpix rating system
0 = Starring Jack Black
1 = Didn’t get past the first 30minutes of the film.
2 = Did not finish the film it was that bad
3 = That is time I will never get back
4 = Piss poor
5 = Good for killing some time with
6 = Good film
7 = Great Film
8 = A future classic
9 = A classic
10 = One of the greatest films of all time