What Maisie Knew (2012)
Granted that you as a viewer accept the fact that parents can be as selfish and insensitive as rock star Susanna (Julianne Moore) and art dealer Beale (Steve Coogan) are here, What Maisie Knew is a heart-rending and arduous, but ultimately beautiful and warm film that seeks to throw light on the child's end of the bargain in a breakup and subsequent custody-battle. When it works so well, it does so because despite the parents' said selfishness and lack of sensitivity, they come off as real people thanks to solid performances by Coogan and particularly Moore. The much-needed counterweight is provided by the sympathetic characters that Alexander Skarsgård and Joanna Vanderham create. And although the ending is bordering on fairytalish, it's made believable and, above all, redeeming by all the disappointments that has come before. Scott McGehee and David Siegel's co-direction is aptly performance-driven.