Sally Hawkin's portrayal of Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis is a stellar one capturing her awkwardness, creativity and capacity to love succinctly. She's well supported by a bottled turn by Ethan Hawke as her husband. The maritime setting is well captured by director Walsh and cinematographer Guy Godfree and the film's unfussy script by Sherry White doesn't give in to melodrama or the maudlin. Love takes all forms.
It would be tremendously easy to find fault w/ Maudie. Some leaden dramaturgy and so forth. But I found it very sweet and very moving. The central relationship (between Maude and Everett Lewis) is extremely powerful, attributable both to performances and some strong writing. Ethan Hawke's Everett was the first character I have ever seen on screen who invoked for me my paternal grandfather. Meant a lot to me.
Sally Hawkins gives a moving and devastating performance of a passionate and vulnerable spirit inside a frail human being and Ethan Hawke vividly shows the pain and heart within in an angry soul that finds warmth in his opposite. It is impossible to resist a tear as this character study evolves and brings out all the pain and joy in finding talent and love.
So moving! The relationship between Maud and Everett is so powerful and subtle, brought to its' peak by the pairing of some great writing and equally amazing acting. Her purity is palpable, her willingness to live and create and the honesty she produced. What a wonderful little film. And how moving when she says to Everett, "You should get more dogs" because she already knows.
This is one of those biopics that might paint an audience-pleasing portrait of a beloved cultural figure, but whose story isn't dramatically compelling. Personal details are minimal, and many scenes feel dragged out. As a tribute to an artist, it feels underwhelming. As a love story, it's written and played very unconvincingly. I never bought these characters as actual people, making it too hard to invest in them.