Cinema Nouveau screens film based on Henry James novel


From Friday 3 January South African audiences will be able to watch What Maisie Knew, a film that examines a couple’s custody battle from their young daughter’s perspective.

The movie is a contemporary re-visioning of the Henry James novel of the same name and is set in New York City. Told through the eyes of the six-year-old Maisie (Onata Aprile), the film relays the story of a young girl’s struggle for grace in the midst of her parents’ bitter custody battle.

Maisie’s parents, an aging rock star, Susanna (Julianne Moore) and a contemporary art dealer, Beale (Steve Coogan), are too self-involved to notice their neglect and inadequacy as parents.

Their fight for Maisie is just another battle in a war of personalities. As Susanna and Beale both take on inappropriate new partners, a much younger bartender Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard) and Margo (Joanna Vanderham), Maisie’s ex-nanny respectively, the stakes are raised. Over time Lincoln and Margo empathise with Maisie and each other’s positions.

Maisie is shuffled from household to household and realises that the path through the adults’ childishness and selfishness will have to be of her own making.

The movie is directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel and written by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne.

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View the trailer at


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