Maudie follows the story of a classic Canadian premiere folk painting artist while she deals with crippling arthritis. Despite carrying a focus towards the painting or even her condition, the film instead largely focuses on being a romantic tale. This is fine, it's just that when looking back it could have carried the other two key parts of who Maud is a bit better. Maud (Sally Hawkins) has had a terrible life with many issues from her nasty family to her current situation in life. She for whatever reason is immediately charmed by Everett (Ethan Hawke) and decides to answer his post looking for a hand maiden. This is where the two meet and she begins working for him taking care of the house. You can immediately tell that Everett has some issues and to the degree that I'm surprised she sees any sort of reason to be with him, even for the time period. Hawke displays Everett as a stiff and very grunt-full individual which if going for that he nailed it though it's hard to care at all for the character.
On the other hand we have Maud which is quite funny actually and despite having issues with arthritis isn't actually too affected by it. After a number of outbursts from the crazed Everett she gets to painting and eventually builds a career around it. Originally starting with just a woman from New York coming to collect fish, she eventually gains a huge following with many people coming from all around to buy her artwork. Maudie is a lovely looking film though it's hard not to be when you're film in the Maritimes of Canada. It did however feel a bit grey as they seemed to take away from some of the color tones that were present and in this type of film about art you would expect them to have more of a pop.
Maudie is a film I did actually enjoy which I found surprising since I didn't have any expectations going into it. I did however feel that there should have been more of a focus on the artwork, her condition or any of the other aspects going on in Maud's life as it only touches on them opting to focus on being a romantic type movie instead. Which is odd as Everett was not even the slightest likeable even though he does have some better moments. Maudie looks nice and explores some interesting parts of Canadian history along with full details of Maud's life. It does however focus on romantic elements a tad too much and also wanders with the ending feeling far too dragged out.
Review for Maudie at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Calgary International Film Festival