I was concerned that I would not be able to see "MAUDIE" on the big screen as the previews for this film screamed "my kind of movie"…but I made it and YES IT WAS!! I was concerned that I would not be able to see "MAUDIE" on the big screen as the previews for this film screamed "my kind of movie"…but I made it and YES IT WAS!!
The movie stars MAUDIE played brilliantly…I am talking Academy Award brilliantly by Sally Hawkins. Born in the early 1900's. she had pretty severe arthritis but I'm not even sure folks new what that was. Her older brother and Aunt cared for her but almost as if she was mentally and physically disabled (and not so kindly). Set in Nova Scotia, one can suspect medical diagnose was limited in this beautiful but remote part of Canada. She almost never complains of pain and is never given any to migate pain, yet she walks miles and miles on uneven ground.
This movie was extremely special in its simplicity and transparency. No side stories, glitz or anything to snazz up this true story or any attempts to make Maudie the "Rocky" of painters. Yes we root for this underdog yet her positive steps come slowly, steadily and yes a bit unsteady like her gait. The film simply tells the story of her simple and relatively happy appreciation of her life amid some real hardship.
Her family (and seemingly many of the town folk) turn on her once she moves out of her Aunt's home into the tiny home of a limited, orphaned, anger filled fish peddler as a housekeeper of sort.
Ethan Hawke exquisitely plays Everett Lewis who is verbally abusive (and occasionally physical) with Maudie at first. The is the King of the Castle and no room for discussion or comprise. We really don't like him at all and sense bad things.
Slowly and quietly Maudie changes the very drab home and his life to looking at the glass half full. From subtle words/suggestions to her introduction of color to their home, slowly he realizes that she brings some real value to their relationship and home. With her better education, solid understanding of people and a most warm and colorful painting style, they form an unlikely and subsequently loving team.
From her canvases to her husband, Maudie transforms both gently into warmer objects and into things she loves. Boy do we like Everett more and more as the film moves along.
Playing at the Bow Tie Cinema in Red Bank, rush to go see (all seats $7 on Tuesdays). It is a beautiful film on many levels.