This past week, Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends invited me a several other influencers to watch a screening of the film, What Maisie Knew, directed by Scott McGhee and David Siegel; starring Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard and featuring the young and amazing Onata Aprile, who plays Maisie.
The film is based on of the Henry James novel, What Maisie Knew, first published in 1897. The film is set in modern times in downtown New York City. The story revolves around a bitter custody battle between Susanna, an aging rock star played convincingly by Moore, and her art-dealer husband, Beale, played by Steve Coogan. You watch the movie through Maisie’s soulful, thoughtful, all-knowing eyes.
Susanna and Beale paint the worst picture of divorced parents: screaming, yelling, cursing and bad-mouthing each other in front of Maisie. But Maisie, an old-soul, is light years older and more mature than her own parents. The movie is heart-wrenching. It shows how resilient children are, no matter what situation. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but my one tip: bring tissues. Lots of them.
After the screening, we were treated to a Q&A with Julianne, Scott McGhee, David Siegel.
Julianne told us how she prepped for the “aging rock star, bad mother “role by taking guitar lessons from her 15-year old son and watching YouTube tutorials; and taking all the good parenting advice and throwing them out the window. In the movie Julianne’s character screamed, cursed, yelled and was completely inconsistent with Maisie.
When filming, though, Julianne would put on her good-parenting hat and prep Onata that she may scream, cry, yell and curse in the scene – and to reassure her that it was all pretend and that she was acting. Julianne said that there were times that at the end of an emotional scene, Onata would giggle because she thought that the yelling and screaming was funny.
Well, that Onata is a fantastic actress, because she was so believable as Maisie, a beautiful, extremely aware little girl, who only wants parents to love. By the end of the movie, all I knew was that I wanted to go home and see my girls and my husband and give them the biggest hug and a kiss and a pat on the back knowing that I was not as bad of a mother as Susanna.
Watch the Official Trailer for What Maisie Knew here:
What Maisie Knew opens Friday, May 3rd at the Angelika Film Center in New York City. For behind-the-scenes look at the movie, follow the What Maisie Knew Facebook page.
Click to read the What Maisie Knew Momtrends post here.