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Showing 1-10 of 221 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 269 reviews
on October 7, 2013
I hope you take a chance on this little gem. Being generally wary of modern movies that exploit children, which I often find to be maudlin, banal and even obnoxious, I was raised in the forties, I was charmed by this one. The dialogue is sparse and you are drawn through empathy into this little girls predicament. Nothing more is required. She was perfect for the role. Everyone's acting was good. Julianne Moore can do anything well. The interlopers were really sensitively nuanced and deftly woven into the drama. You almost couldn't wait till they appeared as the scenes between the parents an the child were a not a little bleak. There is no schmoozing with the camera. It is not a dark film. It is light and poignant. The pacing and editing were really done well. I plan to see it again. Paul Kummer
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on September 9, 2013
This is not a happy movie.

That being said it's visually and contextually wonderful. The fact that the book of the same name (by Henry James) was adapted to contemporary society in such a stunning way speaks volumes to the screenplay and most importantly the acting.

Julianna Moore portrays her vapid, ego-centric character so convincingly that I don't know that I'll ever be able to look at her the same way.

Steeve Coogan does well with his more understated role as a co-villain.

I love Alexander Skarsgard and he took his role to new heights. He plays a stepfather of sorts with a gentle kindness I don't know that many other actors would have embraced so readily. This may have been his best film yet.

Joanna Vanderham did a fine job as well.

Onata Aprile as Maisie just stole the show. It's hard to believe a seven year old girl was able to capture her role as a pawn in a bitter break up between egotistical, undeserving parents with such elegance. Her performance was so convincing it was heartbreaking, I definitely got a little weepy watching her bounce back and forth never knowing which way was up, all the while loving her parents. Brava!

This might be the most hauntingly tragic film I've ever seen and it made me feel "ALL OF THE FEELINGS". Well worth the purchase and definitely something I'm glad to have in my collection. If nothing else it's a testament to divorce culture and just how much kids have to lose, even if their parents convince themselves they're alright. Amazing.
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on September 29, 2013
In what seems like a fluke, I stumbled across this film while searching for a lighthearted comedy. I had no idea really, what I was getting myself into when I watched the trailer. I assumed, correctly, that it would center on Maisie and dealing with her parents divorce - however I wasn't prepared for the emotional response the film in it's entirety had on me.

Maisie, Margo and Lincoln are all such beautiful, caring, vibrant characters that you can't help but fall in love with. Truly those three actor/actresses did such a fantastic job. I honestly can't put it into words.

*Edited to add: WARNING, PERHAPS A SMIDGEN OF SPOILERS IN THIS RANT*
Little Maisie's parents, I swear I wanted to reach through the screen and throttle them. The father is all about himself, all the time. It's disgusting. And the mother? Jeez. What a piece of work. I know that no parent is perfect, that we all will make mistakes and I've even made a few of my own since the birth of my first daughter almost seven years ago, but the mother in this story...I could never look my child in the eye again if I ever treated her the way Susanna treats Maisie. It's kind of obvious that the mother has some severe issues, but in my eyes, it's truly no excuse. I'm still smoldering here as I write this...she used her LOVE as a weapon. If Maisie smiled at someone other than her, she was 'choosing' them over her. If the people that she CHOSE to CARE for her daughter while she was off doing everything BUT be a mother...she'd go off on them for trying to 'make Maisie like them more.' Absolutely horrific. Luckily this is a work of art and sweet little Maisie is fictional, but deep in my heart I know out there in the big, bad world there are tons of 'Maisie's' and...well, let's just say my tissue box is getting a serious workout tonight.

Wow, okay, I really went off in a tangent there. Sorry, but I had to get it out of my head or I'd never get to sleep.

But, there you have it. This movie is so thought provoking, emotional and just...truly amazing. It makes you feel. It makes you think. You can't help it, and if it doesn't then you either aren't a parent or have no soul because if you can watch a beautiful, darling child with a world of innocence in her eyes be broken and slowly pieced back together again and again without feeling anything? You might want to check and make sure you're not a robot.

A truly well acted, brilliant though painful film. I'd definitely give it two thumbs up.
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on September 23, 2013
It started out slow as it developed the background of what Maisie's life was like at the begiinning of movie, but really had me hooked once it introduced the step-parents. The acting and writing are superb. The child playing Masie is amazing.After the movie ended, I continued to replay it in my mind. I even got the Henry James book to read, but I do not recommend that unless you like page-long sentences. It has been about a month now since I have seen it, and it is still the primary movie on my mind-despite seeing many more. Skarsgard plays a different role than usual ones, playing someone without a lot of self-confidence, but pure-hearted. The actress playing the step-mother is also great in her role. Moore and Googan acturately capture the self-absorbed parents. I so recommend this movie!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 12, 2013
At the heart of this wonderful movie is a young girl, Maisie, played with both heartbreaking vulnerability and understated grace by newcomer Onata Aprile. Even well-written scripts can flounder if a child is miscast in a lead role. Thankfully, that isn't the case here. The rest of the cast is also wonderful, from Julianne Moore (playing Maise's mother, Susanna) to Steve Coogan as Maisie's father, Beale.

I'm wary about describing this film as one which focuses on a couple's break-up and divorce. I saw it as much more than that. The often confusing world of adults, as viewed from Maisie's perspective, left me wanting to shake her parents out of their self-centered life and somehow make them see that their daughter deserved so much more from them. To be truly heard. To be truly seen.

I'm also concerned that my description (so far) may make this seem like a downer of a film. But I didn't find it depressing, at least not a good share of the time. I was heartened to see that strangers could have the insight - and compassion- to create a safe harbor for Maisie and try their best to help her.

Ironically, by showing what Maisie sees and experiences - but without detailed commentary or analysis - her silence and facial expressions speak volumes (possibly even more powerfully than words). She is a child who is simply trying to trust, understand, and make sense of the sudden changes in her life.. So the film's viewers see and hear what she does: her parents' arguments, her joy when visiting a pond full of turtles, her reactions when visiting a home or apartment for the first time.

The filmmakers provide strong counterparts to the stereotypes of cruel stepparents. There are also enough plot twists and suspenseful moments to create a well- paced movie, one which underscores the importance of trying to comprehend events from a child's perspective. Or at least making a serious attempt, in spite of one's own pain.

The final scenes took me by surprise so I won't write much about those. But I will note that Julianne Moore's performance in that concluding section is stellar. In only a few minutes, she conveys anger, confusion, grief, and more....and it is all achingly realistic.

After seeing the film, I am now reading the James novel, What Maisie Knew for extra insight as well as for comparison and contrast between James' perspective and the filmmakers take from a more contemporary viewpoint.
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on December 17, 2013
Should be called when a. holes battle for custody. I have a hard time saying I like this movie. These two selfish narcissists have a custody battle, then leave their child with other people-it is awful, it is heartbreaking and it is a serious look into the high conflict mess that is family court and how people are encouraged (often by greedy divorce lawyers) to battle it out until they "win". The little girl who played Maisie was amazing. I hated both parents in this, so it will take me a while to like Julianne Moore again, this reminded me a little of her role in Boogie Nights.
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on September 21, 2013
Do we bring them into the world for our own gratification and self-aggrandizement? Do we know we are setting another human life in motion and that we influence the quality and quantity of that life? If we knew the answers to these two questions before we got pregnant, would we still choose to have a child? How do you know when you are "using" a child to get your own selfish needs met, or when you are actually doing something to enhance their life? This film is well acted - little Maisie is not only a great actor, she has a very subtle technique to demonstrate the effects of the actions taken by her parents on her life . They are the children, she the adult. Julianne Moore is a winner.
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on September 13, 2013
A movie in which the child ends up being the parent. It's not your typical divorce flick and I guess it's because you really believe the little girl and you want to reach through the screen and smack the parents upside the head. I guess for me it's more real than most because I watch my grandson go through the same thing -"ex" parents arguing, mother drags the kid around late at night because she's a hockey groupie.

I kept thinking Julianne Moore was chewing up the scenery but I guess in reality thats what some parents are like - me me me it's all about me.

I think this should be a "must see" movie for any one thinking about having children.
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on January 18, 2017
Really enjoyed the way they told this story with more pictures than words. The little girl was so natural and charming. I'm reading the book now.
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on March 1, 2017
This was a wonderful movie, kind of sad, but also uplifting in many ways. Julianne Moore played a great role, I almost did not recognize her. I rated this movie with 4 stars simply because it was sort of slow to action, but enjoyable.
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