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Levy Must-Sees: Maudie

Dana Levy (17/08/2017)

An arthritic housekeeper with a fancy for painting sees her folk art career take off with the help of a younger companion in this biopic

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Dana Levy is a British-Israeli film critic based in London

Set in Nova Scotia, Maudie is based on the true story of folk artist Maud Lewis (played by Sally Hawkins, known for ‘Happy go Lucky’ and ‘Blue Jasmine’) and her relationship with reclusive fisherman Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke, ‘Boyhood’ and “Before Sunset”).

Maud is a quiet, timid yet intelligent woman who suffers from arthritis, which has left her hunched over. She has difficulty using her hands, but is adamant to live an independent life away from her stifling, over-protective family. When we meet Maud she is living in her aunts home and paints to escape her solitary existence. Whilst out shopping one day, she notices an advertisement for a housekeeper. She answers the advert and is introduced to Everett Lewis, a 40 year old bachelor who has never had to answer to anyone and lives by himself in a small house that has no running water or electricity.

When Everett meets Maud for the first time and sees how her arthritis has affected her, he dismisses her and tells her she isn’t fit for the job, but a determined Maud refuses to leave and gets on with the job. She isn’t great at the housework and forgets to do most of the things Everett asks her to. Instead she spends her days painting on the walls and furniture in the house and eventually decorates the house entirely. At first she annoys Everett, who is rude and belittles her, but as time goes by their relationship develops and he soon realises he cannot live without her. As their bond grows, so does her confidence in her art and she begins to paint small cards and paintings.

One day a local lady notices Maud’s paintings and asks to buy some. Soon enough the locals in the village hear about her art and start flocking to their house to buy her paintings. Everett encourages her to paint more and he takes over the housework so that her career as a folk artist can blossom.

Maudie is a quiet but powerful and touching film. Sally Hawkins is brilliant as always and convincing as Maud both physically and dramatically. This story is a simple and unusual one but is fascinating to watch. Ethan Hawke is also fantastic as the complicated Everett and their bond is a special treat to watch onscreen. Maudie is one of those films that will really warm your heart and stay with you for a long while after.

MOVIE TITLE: Maudie
CAST: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke
DIRECTOR: Aisling Walsh
DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Releasing
UK RELEASE DATE: 4th August 2017
ISRAEL RELEASE DATE: TBC
CERTIFICATE: 12A
IMAGES COPYRIGHT: Sony Pictures Releasing

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