Friday, May 03, 2013


In his review of What Maisie Knew (which I was already disinclined to see since they're setting it today), A. O. Scott says:
And yet what we see, just over her head, might best be described as a sex farce. After the split with Susanna [the mother], Beale [the father] takes up with Margo, who had been Maisie’s live-in nanny and who remains the only trustworthy adult in her life. Susanna, more out of calculation than affection, takes up with Lincoln, a studly young fellow without much ambition. These stepparents in effect share custody of the girl, and they begin to look like an impromptu, unofficial family. James’s book ends on a sly, perfect note of ambiguity: “She still had room for wonder at what Maisie knew.” (“She” is Mrs. Wix, a character who has been folded into Margo in the film).
What the hell? You cannot "fold" Mrs Wix and Miss Overmore into the same character. They're not only very different people, they fill very different roles in the story. It's pretty obvious they'll have to end the movie differently from the book.

I dunno; it might make a decent story. But it won't be What Maisie Knew, at least not as James wrote it.



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