Written by Sherry White, the story follows a young Maudie (Sally Hawkins) who was born with a disability and her life with her Aunt in a small town in Nova Scotia. Maudie decides to leave her Aunt, and whilst shopping in the local store, overhears a conversation between the shopkeeper and a tall man named Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) – he is looking for a housemaid. She pursues the man, seeing this as an opportunity to work but also have a place to live away from the staunch restrictions of her Aunt. What Maudie does not know is that Everett is a well-known recluse, stubborn, angry and raised in the local orphanage.
Eventually Maudie and Everett develop a relationship, but it is by no means an easy one. They live in a timber shack on the plains of Nova Scotia, which is hot in summer, and freezing with snow in winter. However, Maudie begins to paint the inside of the shack with flowers and birds and bright colours, much to Everett's dislike. Even though Maudie and Everett appear as simple people, their relationship is complex due to their histories and idiosyncrasies – however, you could also say they are a perfect match.
Maudie and Everett's life changes when a New York woman stops by the shack and sees Maudie's artwork in the window and asks to buy it. Within months Maudie's artwork is being sold from the shack, features in the New York Times – and attracts buyers like President Nixon.
This is a touching film, and at times frustrating, as you may want to rescue Maudie and Everett. However, their stoicism and resilience is remarkable and despite their circumstances, they find joy and share it with the world through art.