Canada / Ireland, 2016 (MIFF 2017, International,North America)

Director: Aisling Walsh


Oscar nominees Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke explore the sensitive but rousing true tale of one of Canada's most inspiring folk artists.

Life might've burdened Maud Dowley (Hawkins, MIFF 2011's Submarine) with a severe bout of rheumatoid arthritis, but it also gave her the determination to find her own way in the world. After spending years being told by her overprotective family that she can't live a normal existence, she takes a live-in cleaning job with Nova Scotian loner Everett Lewis (Hawke, MIFF 2016's Born to be Blue). As a bond slowly grows, so does an outlet for her creative urges.

Aisling Walsh (short film Hostage, MIFF 1985) approaches Lewis' story with care and affection, honouring the woman who overcame a host of obstacles to pursue her passion for painting. With Hawkins giving a career-best performance, the real-life figure is gifted a portrayal as vibrant as her artwork. Hawke similarly excels in what becomes an intimate character study, a delicate love story and an ode to perseverance.

'The kind of biopic that hits a nerve and then has you crying throughout the rest of the film … thank you Ms. Hawkins, for that breathtaking performance.' –

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