According to Ethan Hawke, working with Sally Hawkins in Maudie - a film about Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, who had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis - was a "match made in cinema heaven." Maudie is set in Nova Scotia and shot in Newfoundland and it meant so much that he returned to TIFF almost a week after the festival opening night premiere of The Magnificent Seven to promote the film for its Canadian debut.
As you can see from the clip below, exclusive to LaineyGossip, it’s not hard to see why he felt so strongly about this part.
"There's something about Maud Lewis, and you know, she suffered from arthritis and extreme poverty and was treated poorly by almost everybody around her, and she still managed to love life so much, and you see that in all of her paintings."
He went on to say that it was his wife who passed the script his way, as she was "sobbing while reading [it]." Set in the 1930s, Maud (Sally) answers an ad from a 40-year-old bachelor (Ethan) looking for help around the house. They quickly tie the knot, and develop an unusual partnership. The pair begins to sell her paintings and postcards for small amounts of money, a dollar or two. Some of those pieces have since been sold for up to $22,000.
This clip shows the genesis of those sales. Jacek’s immediate reaction to seeing this less-than-two-minute scene was that “Sally should be nominated for an Oscar.” Many critics agree with him – including Claudia Puig of The Wrap and Tina Hassannia at RogerEbert.com. The BBC is cheering her on as well.
Sally Hawkins gives 'Oscar-worthy' portrayal of painter Maud Lewis, who overcame disability to become notable artist https://t.co/dIBht9SzMe— BBC News Ents Team (@BBCNewsEnts) September 13, 2016
Margaret Atwood is also on-board, reposting this Ethan interview from TIFF, where he chats about his love of Newfoundland.
Maudie’s a film that took producer Mary Young Leckie almost 12 years to make. It tells the story of a Canadian painter and is written and directed by two different women (Sherry White and Aisling Walsh, respectively). These are the types of female-driven and women-centric projects we should be celebrating and supporting. Sally and Ethan are both Oscar nominees, and Sally should have been nominated for her work in 2008’s Happy-Go-Lucky. Jacek’s a fan too. Are you?
Maudie hits theatres in Canada on April 14.