Pauline Kael did it her way, Siskel and Ebert theirs, and each of IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and tribute.ca reviews movies in its manner. My way is simple. Am I still thinking about the movie when I wake up the next morning?
I woke up this morning thinking about Maudie.
It is the story of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis and her husband Everett and the tools they use.
It is about more, of course. It's about the small rooms we live and create in. And about the crooked being made straight, and the straight crooked. It's about light and windows. It's very much a love story. And it's very very much about the tools that Maud and Everett use.
Everett (Ethan Hawke) is a fisherman who uses a hatchet, an axe, a hammer, a spoon, a wheelbarrow, a scythe, and, memorably, once, his hand. Maud (Sally Hawkins) uses a hatchet, a cleaning brush, and, memorably, throughout, a paintbrush. And a cigarette. She holds a cigarette like a fuse.
The filmmakers who gave us Maudie built it out of an infrastructure catalog of cameras, lenses, microphones, lights, mounts, cables, ropes, cords, tripods, sandbags, and computers.
Maudie and her makers used a lot of technique and technology to deliver their memorable art. And to bring me along without seeing any of the tech. For as long as the screen in front of me glowed. And then somehow, with other tools, at the other end of the night.