1930's rural Nova Scotia. Maud Dowley, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, smokes heavily to deal with the pain. Because of her unusual gait from the arthritis, she is often mistaken as a stupid, incapable woman, that perception which does make her feel stupid and incapable. That view is held by her surviving family, her brother Charlie and her Aunt Ida with who she lives. After an action by Charlie, Maud decides to seek some independence, she the only applicant for a posted job as housekeeper for brusque Everett Lewis, a poor fish seller. Despite not wanting to hire a cripple which only adds to their antagonism, Maud negotiates to get the job for room and board. Their antagonistic relationship ends up including Everett exacting beatings on Maud whenever she doesn't do what he wants. To keep herself happy, Maud begins to paint the interior of the house with happy pictures and paint similar pictures on small cards, these folk art pictures how she wants to see the world. Maud's ...Written by
An amazing film that captures a time and a complex relationship
Although shot in Canada, and although it is about a Canadian, I don't like affixing the term Canadiana to it. It is a Universal movie about the indomitable spirit that some people possess even when faced with horrendous turns of fate. Sally Hawkins is incredibly good as Maud and Ethan Hawke does a superb job of playing Everett Lewis. Hawkins has the accents , the movements, the wry smile and the light that just won't stop shining. Hawke's performance is very nuanced: his character was an emotional cripple and he was violent, but we also know how much he loved and admired his wife. It was a time when dirt poor men asked for nothing, did whatever they must to survive and didn't allow expression of feelings in their lives. Many reviewers have called him "vile", but he could have been a miner, for example, anywhere in the world as easily as a fish seller in Nova Scotia in 1930. I think Ethan Hawke did an amazing job of capturing that man. It has great cinematography, excellent score and a minimalist script that allows, through actual superb acting, to get to know a pair of characters in a movie like never before. Don't miss this one!!
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