Review / ‘Maudie’ (PG) *** and a half

THE environmental rigours of Nova Scotia provide the location for this biopic of a woman of indomitable spirit, courage, determination and a sweetly innocent talent for painting naïve pictures

Maud Lewis’ adult life was blighted by intense arthritis. Her marriage to Everett was no bed of roses. Aisling Walsh’s film about her adult life is more than a mere potboiler, largely because of Sherry White’s perceptive screenplay that pulls no punches and takes no emotional prisoners.

It’s pretty much a three hander. Sally Hawkins as Maud is simply wonderful. Ethan Hawke is powerful as Everett, a dour, taciturn hardscrabble farmer scared to display his limited emotional depth, which goes down better with the men in the small rural community than with the women.

Sandra (Kari Matchett) who first perceived the naïve charm and simple beauty of Maud’s paintings using house paint on plywood panels, occupies an important place in Maud’s story.

Aisling Walsh’s recording of simple exterior vistas does much to embellish the film with a lovely visual quality for a corner of the world about which Australians may have heard but have little visual reference. And do stay for the closing credits which include authentic footage of the real Maud and the real Everett.

At Dendy, Capitol 6, and Palace Electric

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