"Love Transforms and Redeems"
MAUDIE is the true story of severely arthritic painter Maud Lewis, who became famous, and focuses on the difficult but ultimately redemptive romance she had with her emotionally damaged husband, Everett. MAUDIE is a subtle, moving, beautifully acted movie about the transformative, redemptive power of love, with a positive portrayal of a marriage that blossoms, but strong caution is advised for some rough patches and innuendo.
Maud Dowley is an extremely arthritic female artist living in rural Nova Scotia during the 1930s. Maud’s always been treated as helpless by her emotionally distant and condescending brother, Charles, and her Aunt Ida. She has a beautiful smile, maintains a sweet spirit and loves to create paintings in the childhood home where she lives under her aunt’s care. Suddenly, Charles abruptly announces he’s selling the house against Maud’s wishes.
Heartbroken from losing the only home she’s ever known, Maud vows to strike out on her own and fend for herself. She takes a job as a housekeeper for an angry, reclusive loner named Everett Lewis. Everett ekes out an existence selling fish and chopped wood to the townspeople and wants a woman around as much for companionship as cleanliness.
Everett initially scoffs at the idea that a disabled woman can be of any use, but Maud’s determined to make it work in exchange for room and board and 25 cents per week. He is verbally abusive towards her and even backhands her harshly in the face when she seems to indicate to a client that they are romantically involved.
However, Everett slowly realizes Maud’s indispensable to him, helping organize his accounts and brightening his home with whimsically childlike paintings of flowers, nature and people on his walls and windows. Yet, their interactions remain awkward, since they are forced to share the same bed platonically due to the house’s incredibly limited space. The arrangement soon becomes awkwardly physical before eventually blossoming into true, if at times difficult, love.
When a well-to-do client of Everett’s notices Maud’s decorative paintings, she offers to buy a painting. Soon, Maud is finding newfound confidence as both word of mouth and media attention for her work on canvases starts to spread far and wide. However, the attention paid to her proves to be difficult for her husband.
MAUDIE depicts a relationship that gradually transforms two difficult lives, even though Everett’s emotional instability continues to rear its ugly head on occasion. The movie ultimately proves to be a beautifully scaled depiction of the redemptive power of love with an extremely positive view of marriage.
As the lead characters, both Sally Hawkins as Maud and Ethan Hawke as Everett, deliver moving performances with impressive nuances. Hawkins is outstanding in depicting the physical impairments Maud the artist faced, while Hawke digs deep to convey the wounded spirit that lies within her husband. Their relationship reveals that inner beauty is what truly matters in life.
Director Aisling Walsh and Writer Sherry White create a subtle, moving love story here that reminds viewers that even social outcasts need love and deserve happiness. Walsh knows how to find and highlight the year-round beauty of the movie’s rural settings, and the simple charms of a time and place where fulfillment could be found without smartphones, computers and 500 channels of Cable TV.
MAUDIE is to be commended for depicting difficult subject matter with a great deal of discretion. With barely any foul language and a sex scene covered by bedsheets and seen from across a room, its most disturbing content comes from a lewd comment and Everett’s emotional, and on one occasion, physical, abuse of Maud. MOVIEGUIDE® recommends strong or extreme caution for MAUDIE.
(BB, C, L, V, S, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview about how marriage and love can transform/redeem people for the better, movie says inner beauty is what truly matters, and couple is seen walking out of a church with a priest smiling after it’s implied they had a wedding, but there are rough patches to their relationship with the emotionally damaged man being too abusive; five obscenities and one GD; a man backhand slaps a slightly disabled woman in the face and sometimes yells threateningly at her, but he ultimately comes to respect and love her, and they marry; some sexual content includes a lewd comment about sex; no nudity; some alcohol use; plenty of tobacco smoking, but it’s shown to have deleterious health effects; and, some rude insults, verbal abuse and the like, but ultimately rebuked.
MAUDIE is a romantic drama based on a true story. Maud Dowley is an extremely arthritic female painter living in rural Nova Scotia during the 1930s. Taken care of by her aunt, her brother suddenly decides to sell the family home without her consent. So, Maud sets out on her own and takes a job as a housemaid in a small house owned housekeeper for an angry, reclusive loner named Everett Lewis. Everett ekes out an existence selling fish and chopped wood to the townspeople. Maud’s rocky relationship with Everett blossoms into love and marriage, but her sudden fame as a painter after World War II proves difficult for her husband.
Director Aisling Walsh and Writer Sherry White create a subtle, moving love story in MAUDIE that reminds viewers even social outcasts need love and deserve happiness. As the lead characters, both Sally Hawkins as Maud and Ethan Hawke as Everett, deliver moving performances with impressive nuances. Ultimately, MAUDIE is about the transformative, redemptive power of love. However, there are some rough scenes and innuendo, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.