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Total Film | What Maisie Knew Review


In 2001, directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel made The Deep End, a deeply affecting study of just how far a parent might go for their child.

What Maisie Knew, seamlessly adapted from Henry James’ 1897 novel, is the polar opposite, showing just how little a mother and father consider the feelings of their charge as they use her in an emotional tug-of-war to get back at each other.

McGehee and Siegel never succumb to sentimentality, even though they dangerously skirt close to it at times.

On the other hand, it’s filled with moments that’ll make you ache; the aftershock of divorce has rarely seemed so ugly, upsetting and unsettling.

Capturing the essence of the source novel, this is a superior adult drama. Harrowing, heartbreaking but utterly compelling.

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