Berlinale: Maggie’s Plan

Maggie's Plan
Maggie’s Plan
Directed by Rebecca Miller
Starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Bill Hader, Maya Rudoloph and Julianne Moore

by Joanna Orland

Greta Gerwig can often be seen playing a certain type of character, fraught with self-imposed drama going through one personal crisis after another.  Maggie is a more mature version of Gerwig’s quintessential character, a perfect role for the actress to have naturally grown into.

Maggie’s Plan centres on thirty-something Maggie, a single woman living in New York who decides it’s time for her to have a child.  She has always struggled with long-term relationships and convinces a former classmate to donate his sperm for her to use.  As she’s moving ahead with the insemination process, Maggie’s colleague John (Hawke) professes his love for her.  Fast forward three years – John has left his wife Georgette (Moore) and their kids in order to have a family with Maggie.  As Maggie already knew, she is not one for long-term relationships and decides that she and John are not suited for each other.  To ease her guilt and to satisfy her need for control, Maggie works with Georgette to manipulate John into reuniting with his ex-wife.

Engaging and humourous, Maggie’s Plan has a brilliant playground of characters with equally brilliant actors in each role.  Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph add a particular charm to the film as Maggie’s friends and confidantes, while Julianne Moore as Georgette reminds the world that she’s not just a brilliant dramatic actress, but also a huge comedic talent.  As Danish professor Georgette, Moore gives a bold performance with a ridiculous accent that would come across as cartoonish in the hands of a lesser actress.  Kudos to Moore for committing so hard to this role.

Maggie’s Plan is a mature comedy full of rich characters and performances.



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