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 Post subject: Maudie
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Maudie is a biopic from Canada. It's the adult life of Maud Lewis, a local primitive artist in Nova Scotia. She was kind of a social outcast in her wretched little fishing village because she had rheumatoid arthritis and her body was bent kinda funny. Also she'd had an out of wedlock pregnancy, and her family had dealt with the situation in a most unkind way while treating her as basically a liability to be hidden away.

The larger facts are true. Maud answers an ad for a maid from a poor fisherman who lives in a tiny little house. She never leaves. She'd learned to make art as a kid, and all she does is paint. She's rather good at it, making well-seen iconic Canadian scenes in bright colors on small canvases. (She can't stand at an easel.) She paints up the whole house, starts selling art, and gets semi-famous. She finds out the truth about what really happened to her baby. [Note: the real story on the baby thing isn't as cinematic. They messed with it a bit.] She gets old and dies, the way people do. One is left with the idea that she had a good life, and was happy and loved. And she left us with a whole lot of fun art.

A lot is admirable here. Sally Hawkins does an acting tour de force. In the end credits, they run a newsreel of the real Maud Lewis, and it's clear that Hawkins had her down. She's touching, but she's also a strong woman of a sort we need more of in movie characters. It also helped that Hawkins is something of a hobby painter, so when she handles the tools she looks like she knows what she's doing. She made some of the art in the movie. There's a great shot in the beginning where she uses a mahlstick. Etc..

In the end it's one of those tributes to the human spirit and the redemptive power of art.

Women will also like the number of female above-the-line credits. That's rare in The Industry. This little flick did a good B.O., by the standards of little arthouse flicks, and a screener is out for Oscar consideration. Hopefully we see some nominations. It's the kind of movie we need more of.

"Our democratic institutions... seem to have been upended by frat-boy billionaires from California," remarked Canadian politician Charlie Angus. (BBC, 11/27/18)

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