Cert 12A 115mins Stars 4

Intimate, warm and moving, this odd couple drama is based on the true story of a folk painter from rural Canada in the middle of the last century.

British actress Sally Hawkins is best known as the mother in the recent Paddington bear film. She’s on devastating form as the self taught artist, Maudie, giving a performance full of conviction, inner strength and sly humour.

Burdened with a crooked back and assumed incapable of anything, she takes a job as a housemaid for an illiterate fish peddler.

He’s played with a lack of sympathy by a grunting and growling Ethan Hawke.

The honest and unflinching script causes us to deeply invest our emotions in the bickering pair and we long for a happy ending. 

We imagine the soundtrack is there to reassure us but as the story slowly unburdens its dark secrets, we realise it’s an accompaniment to our hearts breaking.

And I’d very much like to stop crying now, please.

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