Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Aisling Walsh|
|Written by||Sherry White|
|Music by||Michael Timmins|
|Edited by||Stephen O'Connell|
|Distributed by||Mongrel Media|
|Box office||$9.7 million|
Maudie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. A co-production of Ireland and Canada, the film is about the life of folk artist Maud Lewis, who painted in Nova Scotia. In the story, Maud (Hawkins) struggles with arthritis, memory of a lost child, and a family that doubts her ability, before moving in with a surly fish peddler (Hawke) as a housekeeper. Despite their differing personalities, they marry as her art gains in popularity. The film was shot in Newfoundland and Labrador, requiring a re-creation of Lewis's famously small house.
Its premiere was at the Telluride Film Festival in 2016. It was selected to be screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and won a number of awards at other festivals. After festival screenings and wider releases, Maudie received positive reviews. It also won critics societies' awards for Hawkins' performance, seven Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture, and three Irish Film & Television Awards, including Best Director and Best International Actor for Ethan Hawke.
The fact that the film was shot in Newfoundland was the subject of controversy in Lewis' native Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, the popularity of the film sparked a resurgence of interest in Lewis' art.
In Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, Maud Dowley is a woman living with her Aunt Ida and brother Charles in the 1930s. She has severe arthritis and is shocked to learn that Charles has sold their family home, which their parents had left to him. In the meantime, she is berated by Ida about visiting the local nightclub. Maud had once been impregnated and gave birth, but Charles and Ida told her that the child was deformed and died.
At a store, Maud sees the inarticulate and rough fish peddler Everett Lewis place an advertisement for a cleaning lady. Maud answers the call and takes the position in exchange for room and board. Everett's house is very small, and the two are known to share a bed. This causes scandal in the town, with gossip that Maud is offering sexual services. While attempting to clean the shack, Maud paints a shelf. She begins painting flowers and birds on the walls, for aesthetic improvement. She meets one of Everett's customers, Sandra from New York City, who is intrigued by Maud's paintings and buys cards which Maud has decorated. She later commissions Maud to make a larger painting for five dollars.
Maud persuades Everett to marry her. Her paintings receive more exposure and newspaper coverage and she begins to sell them from their house. U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon contacts the Lewises to buy one. After the couple is featured on TV news, Everett becomes disturbed that local viewers see him as cold and cruel. Ida, increasingly ill, also saw the coverage, and Maud wants to see her before her aunt dies.
Ida tells Maud that she is the only Dowley who ever found happiness, and confesses Maud's baby girl did not die. Believing Maud could never care for a child, Charles had adopted the baby out to a family for a price. Maud is devastated, and Everett becomes convinced their relationship has brought him nothing but emotional anguish. The two separate.
After Everett and Maud reconcile, Everett takes her to the home of the adoptive family, where from a distance Maud sees her grown daughter for the first time. However, Maud's physical state is deteriorating, and she dies at the hospital, telling Everett she was loved.
According to producer Mary Sexton, attempts at a biographical film about Maud Lewis were made for 10 years. After screenwriter Sherry White's work was submitted to director Aisling Walsh for consideration, she opted to commit to the project, claiming she contacted her agent after reading only approximately 30 pages. Walsh said the film "celebrates this woman who was rather amazing". The subject of the film painted despite rheumatoid arthritis, with Walsh remarking, "She worked so hard at it and in such tough conditions sometimes". The filmmakers chose not to emphasize Lewis' physical conditions, as they said these did not form the entirety of her identity. Walsh described Lewis' biography as "a very Canadian story, it's a very Nova Scotian story".
The film was shot in Ireland and Newfoundland rather than Nova Scotia, where Lewis painted, while film production had become more rare in Nova Scotia as crews moved to Toronto and British Columbia. Producers believed Newfoundlanders could provide more funding for cinema, while the project also received financial support from Ontario and Ireland, the latter being where Walsh and much of her team were from. The Nova Scotia government reduced its film credit program in 2014, which has also been cited as a reason the film was not shot in the province.
|Sally Hawkins||...||Maud Dowley/Lewis|
|Ethan Hawke||...||Everett Lewis|
|Zachary Bennett||...||Charles Dowley|
|Gabrielle Rose||...||Aunt Ida|
|Greg Malone||...||Mr. Hill|
Walsh sent actress Sally Hawkins, a hobbyist painter, photographs of Lewis, and Hawkins attempted to imitate Lewis' style in her art. Sean Bean was cast as Everett Lewis, but left the project due to other commitments, and was replaced by Ethan Hawke. Hawke accepted the role for his fondness of Atlantic Canada, owning property in Guysborough, Nova Scotia.
Kari Matchett is a Canadian actress and developed the accent for her New Yorker character after travel to the U.S. Matchett's agent sent her the screenplay, and when Matchett enjoyed it, her agent lobbied persistently for her casting. Zachary Bennett and Gabrielle Rose were also given supporting roles.
Maudie was filmed in areas around St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in fall 2015, with finances from the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation. Walsh felt the landscape of Keels and Trinity Bay was reminiscent of the Digby area in the 1930s and 1940s.
In life, Lewis had a very small house, at 10 ft × 12 ft (3.0 m × 3.7 m), and Walsh wished to be accurate in creating a replica, but the recreation of the house had to be enlarged to accommodate a film crew. Walsh personally painted some of the flowers on the walls. The crew also gathered houseflies for weeks to depict an infestation of the house, particularly for the scene where Maud attempts to persuade Everett to buy a screen door.
Maudie had its world premiere at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival, before screening at major Canadian film festivals, including as a gala at the Atlantic Film Festival, the Calgary International Film Festival, and the Vancouver International Film Festival. It was featured in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and was screened at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.
The film's wider Canadian theatrical release took place on 14 April 2017 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. Plans were made for it to screen all weekend in Halifax, during which the newly found painting Portrait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy, Lobster Fishermen, Bay View, N.S. would be on temporary exhibit in the Scotiabank Maud Lewis Gallery located at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. It subsequently opened in Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Victoria, British Columbia and Winnipeg on 21 April. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights to distribute the film in the U.S. for 16 June. On 27 April, it was showing on 30 screens, half of which were in Atlantic Canada, while Mongrel Media planned releases in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2017.
In Canada, the film grossed $1 million by 3 May, on 76 screens. It placed first in the Atlantic box office, grossing $4,000 during each showing. Mongrel claimed that in some theatres, Maudie outperformed the mainstream action film The Fate of the Furious.
In its first three days in the U.S., Maudie made $49,842 in four theatres in Los Angeles and New York, a decent performance in niche cinema. The film has grossed $6,191,760 in North America and $3,543,354 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $9,735,114.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 138 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Maudie's talented cast — particularly Sally Hawkins in the title role — breathe much-needed depth into a story that only skims the surface of a fascinating life and talent." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In Variety, Peter Debruge said the Lewis character stood out for "indefatigable optimism", despite living conditions given her gruff husband and small home. The Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy commended the photography and Hawkins for "A stellar, warmly persuasive starring turn". Jordan Hoffman rated it three stars in The Guardian, predicting Hawkins would attract much notice for her performance. The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis wrote Maudie overcame viewer skepticism, and cited Hawkins for bringing Lewis out. Alan Scherstuhl, writing for Village Voice, assessed it as "hit-or-miss" but a tear-jerker, praising Hawkins in particular. The A.V. Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said the film lost its momentum in character development over the runtime.
In Canada, Kate Taylor, writing for The Globe and Mail, gave the film three stars, crediting Walsh for making the story moving but not mawkish, for not dwelling on Lewis' physical condition and for communicating the significance of making art. Chris Knight awarded it three and a half stars in the National Post, commending Hawke for a "committed yet unshowy performance". The Toronto Star's Peter Howell gave it three stars, declaring it "award-worthy" and praising Hawkins for "dignity and determination". Luc Boulanger gave it three stars in La Presse, saluting Hawkins and expressing regret Lewis' art was obscure in Quebec. In Ireland, Donald Clarke called it a "wonderful study" in The Irish Times, finding the tone sad and remarking on poverty as subject matter, but said it displayed "benevolence and quiet humanism", and gave it four of five stars. The Irish Independent's Paul Whitington wrote "Maudie cleverly avoids mawkishness and sentiment to give us a raw and pared back version of Lewis's remarkable life".
At the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival, where Maudie was the opening gala, it won the Super Channel People's Choice Award, the top audience award at the festival for feature films. At the 6th Canadian Screen Awards, it received seven nominations, among the five films to receive the most nominations with eight or seven each.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|ACTRA Awards||25 February 2017||Outstanding Female Performance||Kari Matchett||Nominated|||
|Atlantic Film Festival||15–22 September 2016||Best Atlantic Feature||Aisling Walsh||Won|||
|Best Atlantic Screenwriting||Sherry White||Won|
|Canadian Screen Awards||11 March 2018||Best Motion Picture||Bob Cooper, Mary Young Leckie, Mary Sexton, Susan Mullen||Won|||
|Best Director||Aisling Walsh||Won|
|Best Original Screenplay||Sherry White||Won|
|Best Actress||Sally Hawkins||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Ethan Hawke||Won|
|Best Editing||Stephen O'Connell||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Trysha Bakker||Won|
|Canadian Society of Cinematographers||1 April 2017||Theatrical Feature Cinematography||Guy Godfree||Won|||
|Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival||17–25 September 2016||Best Feature Film||Aisling Walsh||Won|||
|Irish Film & Television Awards||15 February 2018||Best Film||Nominated|||
|Best International Actor||Ethan Hawke||Won|
|Best International Actress||Sally Hawkins||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||John Hand||Won|
|Best Sound||Marco Dolle, Steve Munro, Garret Farrell||Nominated|
|London Film Critics' Circle||28 January 2018||British Actress of the Year||Sally Hawkins||Won[a]|||
|Montclair Film Festival||May 2017||Audience Award||Aisling Walsh||Won|||
|National Society of Film Critics||6 January 2018||Best Actress||Sally Hawkins||Won[b]|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society||11 December 2017||Best Actress||Won|||
|Best Supporting Actor||Ethan Hawke||Nominated|||
|Vancouver International Film Festival||29 September–14 October 2016||People's Choice Award||Aisling Walsh||Won|||
|Women's Image Network Awards||February 2018||Best Film Directed by a Woman||Nominated|||
|Best Feature Film||Won|
|Best Feature Film Actress||Sally Hawkins||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of Canada||24 April 2017||WGC Award||Sherry White||Won|||
During the 2017 Nova Scotia election campaign, CTV News anchor Steve Murphy asked Premier Stephen McNeil if he rued the reduction of the film credit after Maudie moved to Newfoundland. McNeil replied the production had already moved by the time the decision was made.
The film stimulated a resurgence of interest in Lewis' work, with Consignor in Toronto moving her painting Three Black Cats to more prominent exhibition space in spring 2017 and reporting great attendance. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia reported 3,134 people came to see Lewis' work and house, relocated there, between March and the beginning of May, an increase from 2,084 the prior year. An Ontario charity auction for a Lewis painting sold for $45,000, surpassing the most previously paid for a Lewis painting, $22,000 in 2009, while Portrait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy, Lobster Fisherman, Bay View, Nova Scotia, estimated to be worth $16,000, sold for more than double. After the theatrical release, prints of London, Ontario artist William Johnson's 1969 portrait of Everett Lewis, Maudie's Window, were also sent to Museum London. Lewis' biographer Lance Woolaver has seen an increase in sales of his book Maud Lewis: The Heart on the Door.
- Peter Debruge (2 September 2016). "Film Review: Maudie". Variety. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "43rd Telluride Film Festival Program Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Maudie". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Maudie – PowerGrind". The Wrap. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "Maudie (2016)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- "Maudie set to put Newfoundland on the map, says producer Mary Sexton". CBC News. 28 October 2016. Archived from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Maudie director about response to the film: 'It's what you really hope for and more'". Chronicle Herald. 15 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- Jones, Colleen (10 April 2017). "Maud Lewis 'a very Canadian story,' says Maudie director". CBC News. Archived from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Henderson, Jennifer (26 May 2017). "Correction: Maudie, take three". Halifax Examiner. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- Barnard, Elissa (11 April 2017). "The movie that Maud built". Local Xpress. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Thorne, Tara (12 April 2017). "Maudie: wrongly located, but beautifully shot". The Coast. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- Henderson, Jennifer (31 May 2017). "Epilogue, Maudie: Take 4". Halifax Examiner. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Howell, Peter (14 April 2017). "Finding the sophisticated woman behind the 'naive' painter in Maudie". The Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- "Ethan Hawke in St. John's working on feature-film Maudie". CBC News. 18 September 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Staff (11 April 2017). "Ethan Hawke's Nova Scotia connections led him to making 'Maudie'". Global News. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Matchett, Kari (16 June 2017). "Kari Matchett interview". KTLA Morning News. KTLA 5.
- Acevedo, Yoselin (5 April 2017). "'Maudie' Trailer: Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke Embark in a Romance in New Biopic — Watch". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- Wall, Lukas (13 September 2016). "Maudie star Ethan Hawke, director Aisling Walsh praise filming in Atlantic Canada". CBC News. Archived from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Etan Vlessing (7 September 2016). "Ethan Hawke's 'Maudie' to Open Vancouver Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Opening Night Gala: Maudie". Atlantic Film Festival. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- Volmers, Eric (21 September 2016). "CIFF rolls out the red carpet to kickstart 2016 festival". The Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Maudie". TIFF. 1 September 2016. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Leavitt, Kieran (27 April 2017). "'A lot of pride' makes Maudie a blockbuster in Atlantic Canada". CBC News. Archived from the original on 29 April 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- "Maudie breaks million dollar threshold". Chronicle Herald. 3 May 2017. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- Berry, Steve (4 May 2017). "Charmed by Maudie, visitors flock to N.S. art gallery featuring Maud Lewis home". CBC News. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "Maudie: Biopic of obscure painter becomes surprise hit". BBC. 30 April 2017. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Brooks, Brian (18 June 2017). "'Maudie', 'The Journey' & 'Hare Krishna' Open Solid – Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Maudie (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "Maudie Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- McCarthy, Todd (11 April 2017). "'Maudie': Telluride Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Hoffman, Jordan (3 September 2016). "Maudie review – Sally Hawkins adds a flourish to portrait of reclusive artist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Dargis, Manohla (15 June 2017). "Review: In 'Maudie,' a Painter Spins Beauty From Despair". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- Scherstuhl, Alan (14 June 2017). "Sally Hawkins Dazzles Even When 'Maudie' Drags". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (14 June 2017). "Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke can't prop up the artist biopic Maudie". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Taylor, Kate (14 April 2017). "Maudie review: How to wring art from adversity, minus any pandering". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Knight, Chris (12 April 2017). "Maudie is a portrait of a painter whose canvas was her life, and whose life was her canvas". National Post. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Howell, Peter (13 April 2017). "Reel Brief: Mini reviews of 'Their Finest,' 'Maudie,' 'My Entire High School,' 'The Happiest Day' and 'A Quiet Passion'". The Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Boulanger, Luc (21 April 2017). "Maudie: la beauté du monde ****". La Presse. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Clarke, Donald (3 August 2017). "There have always been people like Maude Lewis. We're never kind enough to them". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Whitington, Paul (4 August 2017). "Movie reviews: England is Mine, Maudie, The Emoji Movie". The Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Maudie Wins Coveted VIFF Super Channel People's Choice Award" (Press release). Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- Derdeyn, Stuart (16 October 2016). "Maudie wins People's Choice Award at VIFF". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- The Canadian Press (16 January 2018). "Canadian Screen Awards 2018: Anne has leading 13 nominations". CBC News. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- ACTRA Toronto (18 January 2017). "The 15th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto nominees". CNW Group. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Pinto, Jordan (26 September 2016). "Maudie, Perfume War win Atlantic Film Festival prizes". Playback. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Film Nominees". Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Canadian Screen Awards gala to shine light on AfterMeToo". CBC News. Archived from the original on 11 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Nova Scotian takes home a Canadian society of Cinematographers Award". The Chronicle Herald. 3 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Media Release" (PDF). Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival. 29 September 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Ifta Awards 2018: the full list of nomination". The Irish Times. 11 January 2018. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Iftas 2018: full list of award winners". The Irish Times. 15 February 2018. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- Ritman, Alex (19 December 2017). "'Three Billboards' Tops London Critics' Circle Film Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- Smith, Neil (29 January 2018). "Kate Winslet's 'bitter regrets' over 'poor decisions'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Lewis, Hilary (5 May 2017). "Montclair Film Festival: 'Lady Macbeth,' 'Strong Island' Among Award Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Tapley, Kristopher (6 January 2018). "'Lady Bird' Named Best Film of 2017 by National Society of Film Critics". Variety. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society Award Winners". San Diego Film Critics Society. 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "Women's Image Network announces its 19th Women's Image Awards Film and Television Nominees". Women's Image Network. 10 November 2017. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
- "Winners". Women's Image Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- Yeo, Debra (25 April 2017). "Letterkenny and X Company take Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards". The Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Wong, Jessica (22 May 2017). "The Hollywood effect: Maud Lewis and other painters who got a bump from the movies". CBC News. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Montanini, Chris (13 June 2017). "Painting by late London artist finds new meaning". Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Bennett, Paul W. (2 June 2017). "Finding a Muse in Maud Lewis". The Chronicle Herald. p. D1-D3. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.