Ce que savait Maisie (1995) 1h 30min · 22 December 1995
Paris during the 1920s. Ever since her parents' separation, ten-year-old Maisie has been travelling to and fro between her father Beale Farange and her mother Ida. She spends half a year with each one alternately. But neither parent can provide Maisie with the warmth and affection she so desperately needs. Instead, the young girl is used by her parents as a kind of courier, in an enthusiastically waged little war. All Maisie wants is a proper family again. It's only when her new governess Betty Overmore arrives on the scene that things begin to change. Mlle Betty and Maisie soon grow extremely fond of one another, and Betty develops an almost maternal affection for the young girl. Filled with mistrust, Ida Farange watches Maisie blossoming. When the mother is away on a trip and the governess and Maisie both actually go to stay with her father, Ida Farange at last has the perfect excuse to rid herself of her rival by dismissing her, ostensibly for the child's own good. The jealous Ida now makes sure that her daughter has absolutely no contact with either her father or her former governess for the next six-month period. Maisie has almost given up all hope when she suddenly finds an ally she hadn't reckoned with - a new figure in her life, Baron Claude, Ida Farange's second husband. The young nobleman strikes up an immediate friendship with his stepdaughter, and Maisie in turn discovers the warmth in him that her mother so sorely lacks. And it's with Baron Claude's help that Maisie is finally able to have a meeting in secret with Betty, her former governess. It turns out that Betty has stayed on with Beale Farange - she and Maisie's father have fallen in love. Radiant with joy, Betty tells little Maisie that she is now Mme Farange, her stepmother. The only cloud on the horizon for Maisie now is the fact that all her meetings still have to remain absolutely secret. Back home again, Maisie is forced to watch on as Ida Farange destroys her marriage with Claude by taking a lover. The Baron sees no alternative but to separate from his unfaithful wife. But he doesn't want to leave Maisie. With the aid of Mme Wix, the new governess, he succeeds in meeting his stepdaughter Maisie regularly. Soon little Maisie moves in with her father again. The girl realises that life with Betty has changed him: he's no longer the cold unfeeling patriarch, but instead greets his daughter with an embrace that's heartfelt and very affectionate. Maisie finally thinks she's discovers the family she was always looking for. Even Claude, as a friend of hers, is accepted with open arms by her father and Betty. But at this point Maisie discovers that her father is ill - very ill indeed. Will this be yet another blow of fate? Worriedly, she watches her father grow weaker and weaker; for his part, all he can think of is his daughter. With the aid of Betty, Claude and Mme Wix he succeeds in gaining custody of her from Ida. And on his deathbed he gets Claude - who has now become a firm friend - to promise that he will look after Maisie for him whatever happens. After her father's death Maisie thinks her family happiness has been shattered for good. But Claude makes good on his promise, and he and Betty take care of the young girl. Soon the two adults are united by a lot more than just a common interest in the girl's welfare. And when Mme Wix hands in her notice to Ida and moves in with them, the family is complete once more. - Written by Anonymous
Director(s): Édouard Molinaro Cast: Evelyne Bouix, Stéphane Freiss, Catherine Samie
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