I actually had Kramer vs Kramer flashbacks during this movie — I have very vivid memories of that being the first movie that really upset me about parental treatment of children. (I was pretty young to see it then but my parents are not censors of much.)
Julianne Moore’s performance here is pretty amazing and just spot-on for what it’s supposed to be. The two young blondes who become Maisie’s caretakers (Skarsgard being one of them–yeah I’m pretty much over my obsession with him, except where Pinterest is concerned) are both fine although both come across as idiots as the movie begins and it takes a while for them to be tolerable on screen (they become moreso as they wake up to the realities of the film, I guess, which is fine, but did they really have to be quite so dumb to begin with?).
It was a well-done movie but pretty hard to watch if you are daily interacting with children who, while not necessarily mentally or physically ABUSED, are most certainly treated with varying degrees of neglect.
I mean I have often before, and certainly during this movie, pondered whether some sort of readiness test for parenting should be instituted by the state before unprotected sex is allowed. But of course in order to bring that about, the policing of sex would have to be instituted which is such a wild violation of one’s civil rights that it’s plain horrifying. But then you see a child being treated this way…
There certainly are people too self involved to parent, just as there are people too stupid to parent, and frankly the former is more horrible than the latter. The latter might learn, the former don’t care to.