Maudie is a Nova Scotia story. Too bad that it had to be filmed in Newfoundland and Ireland due to cancellation of the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit.
The film’s screenplay is a romanticized glimpse into the life of one of Canada’s most celebrated painters. It has a stellar performance from Sally Hawkins, who should get an Academy Award nomination. Ethan Hawke’s performance is subtle and perfect, allowing just enough space to have Hawkins to really come through in her portrayal of Lewis. It is worth noting that Hawke owns property in the peaceful picturesque Guysborough area of Nova Scotia.
The film does not tell the complete story. Then again, there are plenty of these kinds of films based on real people that are the same in that they do not tell the complete biography. There is so much more to the real story of Maud and Everett Lewis that has been documented in books about their lives. There is very little about Maudie that could and should be said in any writings about it. The smallest moments are not worth spoiling for anyone going to see it. It is a refreshing adaptation of a screenplay that opens a door into Maud Lewis’s contribution to art, and to the cultural fabric of Nova Scotia and Canada.