The Sedona International Film Festival presents the Northern Arizona premieres of “Maudie,” starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and “My Cousin Rachel,” starring Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, showing Friday through Wednesday, July 28 through Aug. 2, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
“Maudie” is based on the true story of folk artist Maud Lewis [Sally Hawkins] and the unlikely romance between Maud and a hardened, reclusive bachelor, Everett Lewis [Ethan Hawke]. It is a beautiful story of love and humanity.
Maud, a bright-eyed, intelligent woman, hunched with crippled hands from arthritis, yearns to be independent and to live away from her overly protective family. She escapes her solitary existence in her aunt’s home through her art, dreaming away the days, until in her early 30s she finds, and answers, an advertisement for a housekeeper.
Everett Lewis is a 40-year-old bachelor who owes nothing to anyone. Tall, skinny and shabby, abandoned by his parents at a very young age, he has nevertheless managed to become a proud and self-sufficient man, largely by collecting scraps and peddling fish. He is his own boss and has everything he needs, except maybe a woman to clean the house and cook his meals.
When Maud answers the ad, Everett hesitates at first. Seeing this strange-looking woman — short, hunched over, with gnarled hands and huge, bright brown eyes, he can’t imagine she can handle the hard work. She is determined, though, and refuses to leave. So he hires her, but remains wary. She talks too much, has too many opinions and is a terrible housekeeper. She spends most of her time painting doodles on cardboard and the walls of his house.
Everett realizes he hardly got what he bargained for.
But over time, Everett starts to need Maud. When she isn’t near him, his life is dull and grey. She understands him in a way that no one ever has and she loves being needed by him. Their bond grows deep and unspoken.
Maudie’s determination for her art, along with her partnership with Everett, blossoms into a career as a famous folk artist, bringing them closer together in ways they never imagined.
“Captivating! Sally Hawkins’ performance splendidly carries the day.” — Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
“Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, a beautifully matched pair who open up two closed people, unleashing torrents of feeling.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Achieves a genuine grace and considerable poignancy. Hawkins brings an eccentric to vivid life with precision and soul.” — Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
“Maudie” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre July 28 through Aug. 2. Showtimes will be 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday, July 28, 29 and 31; and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30 and Aug. 1 and 2.
‘My Cousin Rachel’
“My Cousin Rachel” — starring Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin — tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious and beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. His feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling helplessly and obsessively in love with her.
Steeped in a wonderfully powerful atmosphere of desire and suspicion, “My Cousin Rachel” tells the story of a rather naive young bachelor struggling to determine if his deceased guardian’s charming widow is either the woman of his dreams or a cold-blooded killer and inheritance-chasing gold-digger.
But when Rachel eventually arrives to visit the estate of her late husband, Philip meets a woman who seems nothing like the black-hearted poisoner of Ambrose’s deathbed ravings.
The film is written for the screen and directed by Roger Michell, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, which was written in 1951. The author’s outstanding work often combines suspense, passion and shockingly modern psychological portraits of men and women in intriguing and sometimes obsessive relationships. On publication, “My Cousin Rachel” instantly became one of du Maurier’s most popular books.
“A brilliant tale of attraction and suspicion.” — The Hollywood Reporter
“Rachel Weisz has never been as seductive, cunning or deliciously ambiguous.” — Variety
“My Cousin Rachel” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre July 28 through Aug. 2. Showtimes will be
7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday, July 28, 29 and 31; and 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 1 and 2.
Tickets are $12 or $9 for Film Festival members. Call 282-1177 for tickets and more information. Both the theater and film festival office are at 2030 W. State Route 89A in West Sedona. Visit SedonaFilmFestival.org for more information.