Is an offbeat and beautiful biopic of an artist who found solace in colours and created bright colourful paintings in spite of a harsh life riddled with poverty and severe arthritic limitations.
What sets this biopic apart is the positive light and cheerful tones with which her story had been depicted. Rather than tilting over the harsher aspects of her life, they have chosen to portray it with the brightness and cheer that was so typical of Maud Lewis, one of the best known Canadian folk artist .
Cast -Sally Hawkins , Ethan Hawke
Director -Aisling Walch
The film chronicles Maud’s life from 1930s when young Maud lived in Nova Scotia with her aunt. Treated with disdain by her own family, she opts to work as a live in maid to a fish peddler, Everett Lewis who happens to be a bitter and misogynistic man. In spite of the harsh life and his behaviour , Maud feels free and finds succour in colours and brushes. Everett , despite his nastiness, lets her indulge in painting. There are times we see shades of compassion in him. Good things follow. They eventually marry , her work starts to get noticed which they begin selling. She paints little cards, unused pieces of wood and even the walls ,window frames , window panes of their little abode.
Towards her old age ,she continues to immerse in her world of colours ,while he whole heartedly supports her now. They get money, immense recognition and media attention but continue to live a simple life in that little one room cottage till the end of her life.
It was a pleasure to see her life’s journey and go through her milestones of finding freedom , peace, love and recognition.
Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke give a stellar performance that makes sweet Maud and rancid Everett come alive. Aisling chose not to get deep into Maud’s thoughts and mind or delve too much on the pain and misery in her life.
The serenity and their quiet simple life looks straight out of a picturesque story book. She also consciously gives the story a bright tint despite all the grimness in Maud’s life. Perhaps Maud herself saw life through a pretty lens for her to be able to create so much beauty.
The film is moving , inspiring ,overwhelming and definitely a wonderful watch.