- 1 hr 55 min
Maudie is a biopic film that tells the story of Maud Lewis, a Canadian folk artist who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis from a young age but found solace in painting. The film introduces us to Maudie (Sally Hawkins), who lives in Nova Scotia with her aunt Ida (Gabrielle Rose). She has always had a passion for painting, and she begins to sell her art to the locals in the community. However, her life takes a significant turn when she responds to an advertisement for a housekeeper.
The advertisement is for a reclusive fish peddler, Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke), who lives in a small cabin in rural Nova Scotia. Everett is abusive towards Maudie at first, but she manages to win him over with her cheerful nature and handy nature, helping him to run his business while also pursuing her artistic interests. Even in the small spaces of their home, Maudie manages to find beauty and creates paintings that are inspiring to everyone who sees them.
As Maudie's artwork gains recognition, her reputation as an artist spreads far beyond her small hometown, drawing the interest of collectors and critics alike. She and Everett embark on an unexpected and unlikely partnership, with Everett often selling Maudie's paintings to tourists who pass through. Over time, Maudie's work becomes more valuable as she gains more recognition, and even Everett comes to terms with the value of her art as he grows more protective of Maudie and her work.
Sally Hawkins' portrayal of Maudie is masterful, with the actress infusing the character with a sense of inner strength and optimism that shines through despite the hardships and limitations she faces. Hawkins vividly communicates her character's pain without romanticizing it, grounding her portrayal in the realities of her disability while still emphasizing Maudie's fierce determination to create and thrive as an artist.
Meanwhile, Ethan Hawke delivers a riveting performance as Everett, imbuing the gruff fish peddler with a sense of tenderness and vulnerability that is unexpected but ultimately endearing. Zachary Bennett also stands out as the local shoptalker, a character who serves as a narrator of sorts, providing context and commentary on the lives of the film's central protagonists.
Aside from the excellent performances, director Aisling Walsh excels in capturing the picturesque beauty of Nova Scotia, placing Maudie's art in a context that makes it even more powerful and poignant. The colors in Maudie's paintings pop against the grey and desolate landscape of rural Nova Scotia, and the film's cinematography manages to convey both the harshness of the region's natural beauty and its austere, nearly barren quality.
Overall, Maudie is a moving portrait of an artist finding her voice in the midst of adversity. The film is a testament to the power of creativity and perseverance, and it will not be quickly forgotten by those who watch it. Fans of Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke will undoubtedly be pleased by their performances, but Maudie will also appeal to anyone who appreciates stories of creativity, determination, and overcoming the odds.
Maudie is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 65.