Today we gathered a small group on bloggers to preview Julianne Moore's new movie, What Maisie Knew. Based on the Henry James novel, this is a modern re-telling based in Tribeca, NYC.
Our group was so moved by the film. Plenty of tears were shed and we had a very lively conversation about the film, the wreckage of broken marriages and the challenges of raising kids in the city. A movie that launches this level of discourse gets a big thumbs up in my book.
Maisie, 6, is dealing with the unraveling of her parents relationship. The story is told from her perspective and the young actress, Onata Aprile, is unforgettable. Julianne Moore plays Susanna a rock star (think Liz Phair) who is the most self-involved parent you've ever seen. It's wrenching to see the young girl suffer the inconsistencies of her parents.
Susanna and her ex Beale (played by Steven Coogan) set new lows for neglect. But plucky little Maisie has a gift for finding people and teaching them about trust and love. Maisie finds stand-in parent figures who deserve her. But it's not that simple. Parents come and go, mucking up the life of this little girl.
The yummy Alexander Skarsgård plays Susanna's post-breakup boyfriend--he's a real delight in the movie too. The casting is pitch-perfect and the direction done by Scott McGhee and David Siegel is wonderful. They pay hommage to the magical and dangerous aspects of being a child in NYC.
After the movie (bravo!) the bloggers got to ask the directors and Julianne about the film. Julianne Moore (a NYC mom, but not the train-wreck she depicts in this film) is the mom of two, author and of course an accomplished star. She told us she took the role to challenge herself with the musical element of the film.
Scott McGhee said everyone on the set was very protective of Onata. Julianne said she would prep the young girl before launching into the rantings required of her character. "I always made sure to tell her that I am pretending when I play this part," said Moore.
Moore not only relished the challenge of the part, she also loved the commute--the set was located in her neighborhood so she could swing home to see her kids, 15 and 11, between her shooting schedule.
When she's not acting, Julianne is working on her books. She told us she came to acting via her love of books. So it's no surprise she is the author of three Strawberry Freckleface books. What's new is her app for iTunes http://www.frecklefacestrawberry.com/mobile-app.html . Find it here.
The movie is a special look at modern parenting. Don't miss it. Opens on Friday at the Angelika Theater in NYC. Fnd out more about the movie https://www.facebook.com/WhatMaisieKnew or http://www.whatmaisieknew.com