Divorce can be an ugly thing, especially for a child caught in the middle. In What Maisie Knew, one young girl navigates her parents’ bitter custody battle with innocence and charm. This contemporary version of Henry James’ classic novel highlights the toll that divorce and neglect can take on a child—and the life-affirming grace that a child can bring to a parent.
Six-year-old Maisie (Onata Aprile) is caught between a rock and a hard place. Neither her father, aging rock star Beale (Steve Coogan), nor her mother, contemporary art dealer Susanna (Julianne Moore), have ever cared about her well-being. Their custody battle is just one more fight for superiority in a divorce that has become a clash of wills. As Beale and Susanna raise the stakes for their daughter, Maisie must find a way to coexist or risk losing a parent. Lauded as giving “the most remarkable performance ever seen by a child this age,” Maisie shows that there’s light in even the darkest of situations.
Written for the screen by Nancy Doyle and Carroll Cartwright, and directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, What Maisie Knew will see a limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles on May 3, 2013 and May 17, 2013 respectively. This Millennium Films drama also stars Alexander Skarsgard and Joanna Vanderham. Rated R for some language.
Where’s the fun in life if you don’t take a few risks? In The English Teacher, Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is about to have her carefully balanced world turned upside down. A forty-year-old unmarried high school teacher in rural Pennsylvania, Linda lives alone with her cats and her books, preferring the company of great literature to real-life drama. But when one of her former students returns home, she finds that she may have to give up her quiet life of books if she wants to help him succeed in the real world.
Jason Sherwood (Michael Angaro) had been one of Linda’s best pupils, but now he has fallen upon hard times. Forced to move back in with his parents after failing as a playwright in New York, Jason is about ready to switch careers and go to law school. But Linda can’t bear to watch one of her star pupils abandon his dreams, so she agrees to stage one of his plays as a high school drama production, directed by flamboyant drama teacher Carl Kapinas (Nathan Lane). With her career and reputation on the line, will Linda be able to find the courage to fight for what she knows is right?
Written by Dan and Stacy Charlton and directed by Craig Zisk, The English Teacher will be released into limited theaters on May 17, 2013. This Cinedigm comedy also stars Greg Kinnear and Lily Collins.
Growing old is getting old in Frances Ha, an indie comedy about a New York girl trying to find her feet. Frances (Greta Gerwig) lives her life moment-to-moment. She works for a dance company but isn’t much of a dancer; she resides in New York but doesn’t really have a place of her own. She yearns for so much more than she already has—and yet she manages to remain lighthearted and upbeat. What’s the use of having dreams if you can’t stop and smell the flowers once in a while?
Told in a series of black-and-white vignettes, Frances Ha is a portrait of a young woman searching for meaning in a large and confusing world. Ambition, failure, redemption—Frances is willing to follow her dreams even as her opportunities dwindle. Because if she doesn’t make it, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
Written by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig and directed by Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha will see a limited theatrical release in LA/NY on May 17, 2013. This IFC Films comedy also stars Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, and Patrick Heusinger. Rated R for some sexual content and brief drug use.