500 Days Of Film Reviews True Life Drama, Maudie, Starring Sally Hawkins And Ethan Hawke
Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) overcame the physical challenge of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to become one of Canada’s premier folk artists.
Is It Any Good?
Every once in awhile, I come across a film that stops me in my tracks. A wonderfully directed, beautifully shot and superbly performed movie with a fascinating story. A tale that is sure to stay with me for years if not longer.
Maudie is one of those films.
Based on the life of Canadian artist Maude Lewis, Maudie is a truly stunning piece of work. Director Aisling Walsh takes Maude’s life and uses it to explore acceptance and difference, isolation and connection. Walsh frames the world through Maude’s eyes and the view is both heartbreaking and also utterly charming.
However, as charming as this film is, Maudie is no quaint, soft in the middle bio-pic. Walsh is unafraid to reveal the (often startling) brutality in Maude’s life - whether from her family or from Everett Lewis, the man for whom she cooks and cleans.
Maudie is anchored by two truly exceptional performances. Sally Hawkins is superb as Maud. This is a challenging physical and emotional role. Hawkins perfectly portrays Maud's painful struggle with arthritis and her desire for independence, acceptance and love.
Meanwhile, Ethan Hawke is wonderful as Everett. His is a character that is hard to like. In many scenes Everett does not treat Maude at all well and yet Maude still manages to bring out the best in him.
As a result, their relationship is often funny, deeply moving and surprisingly beautiful.
A film about the life of an artist is bound to be a challenge for any filmmaker. Thankfully, cinematographer, Guy Godfree, is more than up to the task. This is a visually stunning film and I loved his use of colour and framing.
Maudie is a film that deserves to be seen. Despite this, I fear that it has slipped under the radar. If you haven’t watched Aisling Walsh’s movie, I recommend that you do so soon. It really is a little gem.
Have you seen Maudie?
If you have, what did you think of this film? Let me know in the comments section below or let’s chat over on Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).