Maudie

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Maudie Movie Poster Image
Strong acting in inspiring biopic of Canadian folk artist.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's wrong to make assumptions based on what you believe someone can or can't do. Money isn't the be-all and end-all goal. It's possible to find happiness in the simplest things. Perseverance is a part of life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Maud is arthritic and unable to move with complete freedom, yet she continues to paint because she loves it. She rarely demands anything and is genuinely appreciative when people like her work. She becomes famous and inspirational and yet continues to live simply. She and Everett aren't always kind to each other (he especially to her), but they do share a genuine affection and partnership. He's very brusque and rough, but he comes through for her when it really matters. No diversity of note.

Violence

A man hits a woman in the face. Yelling, shouting, name-calling, throwing things. Characters lose their tempers. Story of a baby being born deformed and then dying. Chicken is killed (off screen).

Sex

Everett and Maud fumble with each other in bed; sometimes more happens than doesn't, but nothing graphic/sensitive is shown. Talk of what "lying down" together can lead to (pregnancy). Brief innuendo.

Language

A few uses of "arse" and "idiot." A character gets angry, pounds on a countertop, and yells what could be the word "s--t," but it's mostly obscured.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character smokes cigarettes frequently and eventually winds up very ill, with emphysema.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Maudie is a biopic about arthritic Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) and her relationship with her rough, anti-social husband, Everett (Ethan Hawke). Characters talk about a baby who was born deformed and subsequently died, and there are some non-graphic sexual situations. In two scenes, a man and a woman who are sleeping in the same bed try to have sex with one another but don't go all the way through with it. In another scene, a man hits a woman in the face; there's also some shouting, insulting, arguing, and lost tempers. The main character is a lifelong smoker who eventually becomes gravely ill with emphysema. Infrequent language includes uses of "arse" and "idiot." Maud is far from perfect, but she perseveres against many obstacles and achieves fame and success doing what she loves. At the same time, she continues to live simply, without letting money or possessions weigh her down.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byConscious mom September 6, 2017

A true story but I wouldn't recommend.

Sad really. If I hadn't been at the theatre I would have turned it off. But once it was all done, I guess I was glad to have watched it. Wouldn't reco... Continue reading
Parent of a 14 year old Written byLisa C. February 17, 2018

Artsy Romance

It’s a movie that shows passion over adversity. Making do with what you have and finding happiness in life without having many material things. The sad parts a... Continue reading

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What's the story?

In MAUDIE, arthritic Maud Dowley (Sally Hawkins) -- who's living in Nova Scotia with her selfish aunt -- is shocked to learn that her money-loving brother has sold their family home. She answers an ad to become a housekeeper for a local fish peddler, Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke), and, after a rocky start, she starts to fit in. He lets her paint flowers and birds on the walls of his small home (where she also now lives). A customer sees the paintings and, later, asks to buy some postcards that Maud has made. This eventually leads to widespread success; even Vice President Richard Nixon buys one of Maud's painting in the 1950s. Maud and Everett eventually decide to marry, but the extra attention being paid to Maud because of her art rankles the inarticulate Everett, causing tension in the house. But despite the many challenges they face, they discover that happiness is within their reach.

Is it any good?

Hawkins turns in a heartfelt performance as real-life painter Maud Lewis (1903-1970), carrying a biographical drama that's lovely and gentle without ever becoming soft or sentimental. Hawke matches her as the inarticulate, anti-social Everett Lewis, who frequently loses his patience but ultimately has encouragement and devotion for Maud.

Maudie isn't perfect -- it comes with many of the typical biopic trappings, especially the challenge of taking place over the course of several decades, with the actors increasingly being slathered in age makeup. And while the few supporting characters serve a purpose, they don't always come to life. But Irish director Aisling Walsh avoids making huge, unfathomable leaps in time and devotes her camera to small moments. She stays with the characters rather than focusing on just life highlights and events. Best of all, she manages to echo the themes of Maud's paintings, using windows and doorways as frames, mirroring paint colors to the things of real life, and watching as the seasons pass, each highlighting its own particular kind of beauty.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Maudie's depiction of smoking. Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Did you find any of the movie's scenes shocking or violent? Why or why not? How did the characters' angry outbursts make you feel?

  • Is Maud a role model? What does she overcome, and what does she achieve? How does she demonstrate perseverance?

  • Why do you think people were drawn to Maud's work? Can you think of any other similar artists?

Movie details

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