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What Maisie Knew (2013)What Maisie Knew (2013)

           What did seven-year-old Maisie know? As it turns out, plenty, and most all of it very painful. The genius of directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel is that they maintain the perspective of Maisie as she experiences the bitter divorce of her two toxic parents. Her mother is an over-the-hill rock star still touring, while her father is an art dealer who's jetting off to Europe. They're both lost in their narcissistic worlds, and never home. Maisie is ping-ponged between them, and then between the two people that they remarry out of spite and revenge — he marries their former nanny, and she marries a bartender. In fact, these involuntary surrogate parents are a source of grace for Maisie. They know what it means to play monopoly, enjoy a day at the park, and make pancakes for breakfast. The film is a modern take on the novel of the same name by Henry James, only set in contemporary New York City. We adults should be careful; kids know more than we imagine.

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