“Maudie”

Before seeing the acclaimed “Maudie,” I knew a little about Maud Lewis and her folk art but I was unaware of her life story and the everyday struggles that she faced from a very early age.  Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke each give deft performances in this emotionally touching movie about persevering and finding happiness in the face of difficult circumstances.  There are notes of grace here, along with a number of tear-jerker moments.

Lewis received some early art instruction as a child from her mother, with whom Lewis would make homemade Christmas cards to sell.  From this basic foundation, Lewis’s many, mostly smallish paintings of bright-colored animals, plants and farm and shore scenes provided her solace in the face of a hardscrabble life in rural Nova Scotia.  The occasional sale of her artworks eventually provided a modest income for her and her husband, Everett, in the later years of their lives.  The movie does a nice job exploring the initially reticent relationship that the two shared and the deep interdependent love that they came to nurture.  A more thorough overview of Lewis’s life can be found in the online Canadian Encyclopedia.

(On a side note, for those familiar with the Maritime Provinces, the rocky shoreline and cozy coastal villages featured in the film will be recognized as distinctively those of Newfoundland, which is where much of the movie was filmed.  Quite ironic given the subject matter and that there are, of course, many beautiful vistas in Nova Scotia.  The explanation for the filming in a different province appears to be the greater availability of film production tax credits in the more northern province.)

Similar posts on O’Canada:

Denny Lunn’s Buoyant Folk Art

24 responses

  1. I will need to get this through the inter-library loan system, once it is available. Working today then heading towards North, well to Cleveland to spend time with my Mom, whose in a memory care place and brothers. One of my grandchildren, Micah will be tagging along. If you get a three day 🎆 weekend, enjoy, Brett! 🌞

  2. I was so surprised to be walking through Barcelona last month to find Maudie was playing at the cinema! I felt so proud to be a Blue Noser. When I came back to Canada, I took my family to the Art Gallery of NS to view her house and more of her art. It’s worth seeing.

  3. It looks like a sweet, delicate movie. I remember seeing Ethan doing press for it awhile back. Much preferable to me than huge explosions and machine gun movies.

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