MAUDIE, is based on a true story taking place during the 1930’s in Nova Scotia focusing on the unlikely romance of an unrefined – illiterate reclusive named Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) and the slightly disabled Maud Dowley (Sally Hawkins) who by coincidence became a prominent painter of pictures.
Early on we see Maud (as she is called - correct spelling) is very upset at the prospect of living with her stern Aunt after her older brother sells the family home upon the passing of their mother. Determined to have an independent life of her own she looks to find work in the local town when she has a chance encounter with a local fish peddler named Lewis who is “looking to hire a woman” to keep his 500 square foot home clean and cook his meals as he works his three odd jobs. Maud takes the job but realizes early on Lewis is a tyrannical man, but nevertheless forwards on to make the best of her decision to live in his dank small home. The result was over time Lewis and Maud begin falling in love with one another.
In her attempt to spruce of the home Maud picks up her childhood hobby of painting that her mother encourage to do. One day when a wealthy woman named Sandra who worked in New York, but lived in Nova Scotia comes by to hire Lewis to provide fish to her home on a regular basis, she see’s some of Maud’s art work through the door painted on the walls of Lewis’s home. Realizing the potential in her work, Sandra commissions Maud to do more art work that eventually leads to Maud achieving surprising national fame as a folk painter
REVIEW: While I am almost certain she will not be considered, for me actress Sally Hawkins gives a surprisingly Oscar nominating worthy performance as Maud. She offers a vivid inspirational performance of a woman who was determined to have her own life with an abundance of personal optimism to keep her afloat. Hawkins keeps the story of this charming and talented woman singularly focused on her unassuming and gentle soul without ever soliciting narratively any notion of sympathy for her.
For the film "Maudie", offers up again the enduringly old adage that home is where the heart is and for Maud her heart – her happiness – her home was living in that smal town, off that dirt road, in that small house, with her clucking chickens, barking dogs, overly demaning husband and her paintings.
I found Maudie to be one of the more endearing and touching films I have seen in quite a while.