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Also released this week: Maudie; The Ghoul

03 August, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Sally Hawkins in Maudie

MAUDIE
Director Aisling Walsh
Certificate: 12a

THERE are some actors who have managed to wriggle their way into our collective hearts, and as age continues its unstoppable erosion turns them slowly from being a merely enjoyable thesp to National Treasure. The latest example of an actor to join this illustrious, if somewhat smugly pleased crowd, must be Sally Hawkins. She is surely a shoo-in for becoming an NT, partly because she picks films that are strongly character driven, and partly because she manages to play sweetness so well: think of her in All or Nothing or Happy Go Lucky and her trajectory to the land inhabited by Judi Dench, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith is surely all but secure. Here she takes the title role of gentle folk artist Maudie Lewis, the Novia Scotia woman whose simple works made her a celebrated character in American 20th-century art. In comes beau in the form of Everett (Ethan Hawke) and we chart their lives together as Maude wins global fame for painting cats and suchlike while negotiating life’s bumps in the road (debilitating arthritis, the mystery over the birth of a baby, small town attitudes and being, it appears, insanely naïve). Hawkins and Hawke are peas in a pod. Hawke has already become an NT for Americans, a leading man who has used early career success to be able to intelligently choose his films as he has progressed. His co-star here is now confirmed into the UK’s equivalent hallowed halls.

Tom Meeten in The Ghoul

THE GHOUL
Directed by Gareth Tunley
Certificate: 18

WASHED-UP London detective Chris (Tom Meeten) has to go under cover to crack a case involving a double murder. But this is not a case of growing a beard, donning a kaftan and wearing flip-flops to rid oneself of the whiff of Old Bill. No, instead he has to fool his way into the confidence of a psychotherapist he thinks may have the key to the case of a bizarre killing. But will Tom be able to handle sitting in a therapist’s chair as the lines between reality and his own psychosis becomes muddier? And how, if he isn’t quite sure what is true and what is all in the mind, does he decipher the clues he thinks he may have gleaned?

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