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Telluride Film Review: ‘Maudie’

2 September 2016 11:30 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Like many a North American folk artist, Maud Lewis’ oeuvre — which consists of countless paintings of fuzzy cats, crude-looking flowers, and flat country landscapes — could easily be dismissed as being no better than the work of a child. The difference is that most children don’t have to contend with rheumatoid arthritis, which left Lewis partly crippled from an early age, and required her to work far harder than other untrained artists to bring beauty and color to her grim existence.

Though such characters offer obvious appeal to actors, “Maudie” isn’t nearly as preoccupied with its subject’s physical impairment as, say, a movie like “My Left Foot” or “Frida.” If anything, director Aisling Walsh downplays Lewis’ arthritis to such a degree that she seems almost able-bodied at times. What interests Walsh and screenwriter Sherry White isn’t Lewis’ disability, but the other obstacles that stood between her and »

- Peter Debruge

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1 item from 2016


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