Date(s) - 01/26/2019
7:00 pm-10:00 pm
Old Dutch Church
The real-life biographical drama is about a woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis hired by a recluse as his live-in maid, only to blossom into an internationally prized folk artist.
Her artwork is so exuberant, you’d never guess how difficult her life is.
“Enchanting,” says critic Alexandra MacAaron in Women’s Voices for Change.
“A film to fall in love with,” says Michael Faust in The Public newspaper of Buffalo, N.Y.
“Make this one to see,” says Tim Appelo in AARP Movies for Grownups.
The maid, Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins), works for room and board at the one-room home of Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke), a fish peddler who also collects and sells scraps. She cleans, cooks and shares Everett’s 10-by-12-foot shack with no running water or electricity in rural Nova Scotia in the late 1930s.
While cleaning one day, Maud finds paint and paints a shelf. Then, for aesthetic improvement, she starts painting flowers and birds on the walls.
She later meets a woman named Sandra (Kari Matchett), from New York City, who is intrigued by Maud’s artwork. Sandra buys greeting cards Maud had decorated. She then offers Maud $5 to make a painting for her.
Meanwhile, Everett, who at age 40 doesn’t like much of anything and has, not surprisingly, been single all his life, finds unexpectedly he’s developing a slight liking for Maud, 34, who he initially said was less important to him than his dogs and chickens.
Maud, curiously, grows to like him too, despite his continual casual cruelty, both verbal and physical. They progress into an unlikely and sometimes rough romance. Maud eventually asks Everett to marry her. He warily agrees.
For more than three decades, despite her crippled hands, hunched shoulders and a chin pressed down toward her chest, diminutive Maud ekes out a living rendering colorful, cheerful oil paintings on whatever she can find, including particleboard, cardboard and wallpaper. She sells the paintings for a few dollars each.
The film charts Maud’s eventual abiding love for Everett, even as he hides much of her slim profits from selling paintings under the floorboards and in jars buried in the garden. The film also shows Maud’s spirit, which despite hardships is able to find joy in life, and how that spirit helps her triumph over loneliness and her deepening, painful affliction through joyous, imaginative and inspiring paintings of children, animals and her surroundings that finally lead her to fame as a folk painter.
“‘Maudie’ is a work of art,” says critic Calvin Wilson in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“One of the most beautiful and life-affirming and uplifting movies of the year, capable of moving us to tears of appreciation for getting to know the title subject,” says Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times
“Riveting and brilliantly acted,” says Alexa Dalby in the independent film-review magazine Dog and Wolf.
“Sally Hawkins is extraordinary as Maud Lewis,” says Wendy Ide in The (London) Observer.
The film’s trailer can be found on YouTube at tinyurl.com/Maudie-film.
The 2016 movie, directed by Aisling Walsh, won 23 festival and critic awards. It runs 1 hour 55 minutes and is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The Kingston screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.
Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $5 to $10 a person.
The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.
The films are screened in diverse houses of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month. The series has no religious affiliation.