by Tony Medley
Runtime 105 minutes.
OK for children.
The true story of
folk artist Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) and her relationship/romance with
difficult-to-like Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke), the first 10 to 15
minutes are so dark and depressing I was ready to bolt. That I didn’t
exit, however, was a boon because this turned into one of the best
pictures of the year.
The film starts with
Maud, severely crippled from arthritis and hunched over, trying to get
away from an overprotective family. Into a shop where she happens to be
walks Everett Lewis, a 40-year-old bachelor who is also an abandoned
soul, and who lives in a 10 x 12’ house without running water or
electricity. He survives by collecting scraps and selling fish. He puts
up a sign in the store looking for a cleaning woman. Maud answers it and
their unusual relationship starts.
The rest of the movie
consists of a bravura performance by Hawkins and an almost equal
performance from Hawke. As they live together in really stark,
poverty-stricken circumstances she slowly, amazingly, becomes recognized
as a world class artist.
Directed by Aisling
Walsh from a script by Sherry White this is a heart-rending film to sit
through but well worth it. Both give eye-popping performances but
Hawkins, particularly, should be up for an Oscar®. Sorry for the
redundancy, but Hawkins really blew me away.