Film Friday – “Some people don’t like it if you’re different.”

Film Fridays is a project initiated by Darren from over at The Arty Plantsman and me.

(By now you should know the drill so I’m not going to copy the intro text this time, and if you don’t know what this is all about just click here.)

I count today’s film as a lucky find that I made in my local library, instantly drawn to it by the cover design and the mention of two of my favorite actors.

I only watched it the day before yesterday for the first time, so it hadn’t been on my list of favorite films until then. And because my memory is still fresh with the story and images I decided to write about it now instead of some time later (gotta have to bend the rules sometimes, you know?).

Maudie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.

In short it’s an inspiring portrait of the resilience of a crippled but immensely creative woman, namely Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis.

The filmmakers chose not to emphasize Lewis’ physical conditions, as they said these did not form the entirety of her identity.

Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis

Maud (Sally Hawkins) lives with her bossy and judgmental Aunt Ida (Gabrielle Rose) in the seacoast town of Digby in Nova Scotia. Crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, bent over, and bullied for her physical deformities, she is taken aback when her brother Charles (Zachary Bennett) arrives with news that he has sold their family home. She protests by saying, “I’ll look after it,” and he responds, “You can’t even look after yourself.”

Maud uses this setback to boldly embark on a new life. She takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke), a cranky, oftentimes cruel, and violent fish peddler. He lives in a small house on the edge of town and is known as an eccentric and loner. At first, he is unhappy with her presence, constantly criticizing her cooking and cleaning, and even hitting her out of frustration.

Inside Maud’s and Everett’s house

She responds by expressing herself creatively. She begins to decorate the walls, doors, and windows of his home with her bright and childlike paintings of birds, blooming flowers, perky cats, and landscapes. This life is enough for her. She explains that just by looking out the window, she can see “the whole of life already framed.”

Eventually we watch as these two social outcasts inch their way toward a tender and touching business and personal relationship.

The film was shot in Newfoundland and Labrador, requiring a re-creation of Lewis’s famously small house (10 ft × 12 ft /3.0 m × 3.7 m).

In a way, the landscape feels as much a part of the cast as the actors. It’s wild, beautiful and sometimes very harsh.

Sally Hawkins is – as always – absolutely breathtaking in this film, and simply outshines all her co-stars.

Originally Sean Bean was cast for the role as Everett Lewis, but left the project due to other commitments, and was replaced by Ethan Hawke. Which in the end I think was lucky because even though I really love Sean Bean, I think Ethan Hawke was the better choice for this role.

This film has touched my heart and soul and I’m not ashamed to admit that it also had me silently crying at times.

It’s one of those rare films that will stay with you long after you’ve watched it.

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

36 thoughts on “Film Friday – “Some people don’t like it if you’re different.”

  1. I don’t know if it is on offer here and had not heard of it. Silently crying is something I do with a lot of films. Pay it Forward had me sobbing so hard the couch shook. My son was upset that it affected me so much. I told him from then on to give me a heads up on the tissue needs. I could not have watched it in a theater. I’m ready to pay theater prices to view most films at home privately. “Last Christmas” did that to me as well. Thank goodness the theater was fairly empty. I watched it 3 times already and have my own copy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit I’d never watch a sad and touching film in a cinema – people would look for that little elephant trumpeting in its tissue. 😉 My mum is also always shocked how much I can cry during such a film, it’s a bit like a river flooding the living room. 😂 I think you and I should watch such a film together one day – that way we can be sure that the other totally get what’s going on. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of this. Thanks! This sounds right up my alley. (and by the way, I can see you are commenting you don’t have Netflix, don’t forget they usually give away one month for free, I’ve don’t it before!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Lani! I think you’re going to love this one. 😀 (And thanks for letting me know about Netflix giving away a month for free- will check this out!! )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the sound of this Sarah. You have convinced me to track it down. I love Sally Hawkins – she is amazing in everything and just dominates the screen.
    Sean Bean woukd have been a brave choice. As much as I like him I am not convinced he has the range for this kind of movie, though he was fab in ‘The Martian’ in an untypical role for him.
    Great review Sarah😍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will have to see this film – it’s important to realize that people with differences are still people just like us – their differences are more visible than ours, perhaps, but their ambitions and dreams are universal. What a story about Maud Lewis – thanks for sharing this.

    A couple of other readers mentioned The Queen’s Gambit. It’s an exceptional film and I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

    Hope all is well with you, Sarah. I’ve been OoT and am still catching up on blogs I can’t live without.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shari! So lovely to hear from you again 😀
      Totally agree about the importance of stories that help us realize that people with differences are still people like us. Maud Lewis’ story is truly touching and I can’t imagine how anyone could think otherwise after watching this film.

      I haven’t seen The Queen’s Gambit yet but everyone keeps telling me how awesome it is so I’m going to order it from my library. 😉

      All’s well here, Shari. The pandemic is hitting us pretty hard though and that’s troubling of course. Hope all is well with you too? It should be after the democrats won the election – I still can’t believe it!!! 😀

      Like

      1. Still a lot to worry about here. American politics are fractious – Biden’s win didn’t unite us, it made Trump and his followers more adamantly outraged. Talk is that Trump will run again, and this could be 4 more years of the hatred, lies, and conspiracy theories that he stimulates. There is no other Republican who has the power he holds, and that’s scarier than anything.

        Covid is apparently rising all over the world – its season is long, its impact deep. Recovery may not be till the next generation.

        Please tell your mom I said hello. Whenever I read your blog, I also think of her, and hope she’s doing well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my, that doesn’t sound good. 😦 I’m not sure if the world would be up to for more hatred, lies and conspiracy theories… My hope is that his followers will come to their senses sooner than later once it’s clear that he hasn’t won and so on. Also my hope is the Camala Harris might run for president one day and that people will vote for if/when she does a great job now. A female president of the United States – wouldn’t that be wonderful?

        My mum just came in and says hi too. 😀
        Let’s catch up via email soon!! hugs!

        Like

  5. Maud Lewis is new to me, Sarah. What a “colorful” person in more ways than one. Thanks for sharing the film. I’ll have to see if I can convince my husband to let go of the remote. Lol. Have a lovely weekend, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Try distracting him with a football you pass at him – this way he might let go of the remote control, Diana. 😉
      Maud Lewis was new to me too but I’m glad I’ve ‘found’ her now – her art is so inspiring! Have a wonderful weekend too, dear friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An inspired FF review. And what a great find! That is one of my favorite things – uncovering unknown gems like this at the local library. These are 2 of my fav actors as well. I didn’t know they made this together. How wonderful👩🏻‍🎨🦋🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do like this kind of film. I recently watched ‘Enola Holmes” and “The Queen’s Gambit”. I really like them. Both are about women who can do what men can too. If you have Netflix, you may want to have a peek at them.

    Liked by 2 people

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