Boasting a kinship with “The Kids Are All Right” by sharing the same producers, if anything “What Maisie Knew” does indeed look like it will be another look at modern relationships warts and all. And it also shares Julianne Moore, who stars here, once again as a mother, albeit with an altogether different set of circumstances surrounding her child and how she’ll press on when her family unit is ruptured.
Based on the classic novel by Henry James, adapted and contemporized by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne, and co-directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, the film tells of parents — an aging rock star (Moore) and a contemporary art dealer (Steve Coogan) — who are locked in a custody battle for their six year old daughter Maisie. In the midst of all this, they each take on new lovers — ex-nanny Margo (Joanna Vanderham) and bartender Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard) — further disrupting the world of young Maisie, around whom the movie pivots. While all the professions in this movie sounds so New York City to an almost satirical degree, the emotion here is pretty palpably real, and the acting all around looks very strong.