Having previously examined fracturing families in The Deep End (SFIFF 2001) and Bee Season (2005), directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel are on familiar footing with the dysfunctional clan in What Maisie Knew. This time the focus is on a marriage’s unraveling as viewed through the eyes of the couple’s six-year-old daughter. Loosely adapted from Henry James’s 1897 novel of the same name, the contemporary saga follows the young title character as she navigates waves of uncertainty set in motion by bickering, self-obsessed parents, fading rock star Susanna (Julianne Moore) and distracted art dealer Beale (Steve Coogan), whose contentious split relegates their daughter to the role of afterthought. Set in New York, it’s an old story made vibrantly new by cast members who radiate authenticity under compassionate direction. Onata Aprile is perfect as a vulnerable every-child caught in a maelstrom between two people who profess their love one moment and put her in the hands of virtual strangers the next. Alexander Skarsgård and Joanna Vanderham, as the new romantic companions of Maisie’s mother and father, respectively, radiate a compelling mixture of bemusement and compassion as parental stand-ins for the young girl. And Moore and Coogan capture the essence of narcissistic adults convinced that they are being loving parents. Shuttling between these four flawed people with remarkable adaptability and a wisdom beyond her years, young Maisie comes face to face with the mercurial world of grown-ups who are anything but.
The San Francisco International Film Festival will celebrate Opening Night at the luxurious and contemporary Temple Nightclub, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s famed SOMA district. This will be a night to remember as we kick off the 56th Annual International Film Festival. Join us and some of San Francisco's finest restaurants and beverage companies to eat, drink and dance the night away. You must be 21+ to attend the party.
VIP Ticket includes reserved seating at the film, admission to the exclusive VIP Lounge and sponsored drinks and hors d’oeuvres.