Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Friday, May 17, 2013

What Maisie Knew

“What Maisie Knew” is a difficult and poignant film to watch.  The initial illusion that Maisie, a 7 year old, is growing up in a healthy , loving, functional family unit lasts about 5 minutes before we realize that the adults are on a rapid downward spiral.  Maisie’s parents live in New York City. Mom Susanna (Julianne Moore), a middle-aged rock singer and Beale (Steve Coogan), an art dealer who travels, are both so self-absorbed with their own lives and how much they hate each other that Maisie is often overlooked.  She is showered with love and affection in excess when they have a spare moment but for the most part, she moves about the world of a solitary child on her own.
    She is portrayed with great nuance by Onata Aprile, who lets us see her as a real child, full of wonder, imagination and with a face that shows she is constantly trying to find her way in the eye of this hurricane. We look at her afraid we will actually see on her face the horror and fear she must be feeling inside.

     She has a loving and nurturing relationship with her Scottish nanny, Margo, who becomes and unwilling pawn, when Beale marries her in a ploy to gain full custody of Maisie.  Quick as a wink, mom marries bartender pal, Lincoln who also doesn’t realize his role in this tragedy either, as the new stepfather.  Both of these outside but loving caretakers are drawn into the parents’ scenes and fights, so Maisie bounces like a tether ball back and forth between the four, but we only really sense real love for Maisie from Lincoln and Margo, who allow her to be a child when they are together.  With them, her world is secure,  full of imagination and wonder. She paints, pretends, goes to school,  dresses up, enjoys nature and playing outside, loves a new pet turtle, sings and tries to keeps her roots intact but her parents will not allow that to be.  Mom and dad keep coming and going, faster than she can keep track of.  After a near tragedy is averted, Maisie begins to realize that she needs to  be with those who really care for her well being and has a tough decision to make for one so young.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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