“Ethan Hawke is worthy of celebration on so many levels,” said Rachel Rosen, SF Film Society Director of Programming. “It’s been a pleasure to experience his work as a director of both fiction and documentary alongside his countless indelible performances. He effortlessly communicates his artistic vision across his various creative pursuits, and we’re thrilled to be able to honor him for the full scope of his work in film.”
In a career spanning 30 years and four Academy Award nominations, Ethan Hawke has solidified his reputation as a truly multifaceted artist, challenging himself as a screenwriter, director, novelist, and actor of the stage and screen. In 2016, Hawke portrayed the late Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue, for which he received great critical acclaim, and was also seen in The Phenom, Maggie’s Plan, The Magnificent Seven, and In a Valley of Violence.
Additional notable acting credits include: Dead Poets Society (1989), Reality Bites (1994), Alive (1993), the Before trilogy, Hamlet (Festival 2000), Gattaca (1997), The Purge (2013), Boyhood (Festival 2014), and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007). He recently finished production on Blaze, a drama he co-wrote and directed about the life of country western musician Blaze Foley.
In Maudie, Maud played by Sally Hawkins, stricken with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, faces rejection from her own family in 1930s Nova Scotia. But she finds acceptance in the home of another outsider, curmudgeonly fishmonger Everett Lewis (Festival tributee Ethan Hawke), who hires her to be his housekeeper. In his home, she blossoms as an artist—the decorative touches she adds to everyday surfaces like cookie sheets and wallboard eventually garnering her a reputation as one of Canada’s best-known folk artists. Aisling Walsh’s drama spans 35 years, depicting the growth of her unexpected career and her relationship with a difficult husband. Despite her disability and her relationship struggles, Maud’s spirit remains indomitable. Hawkins is unforgettable as an irrepressible woman who can find an upside in the most trying circumstances. Hawke imbues his difficult character with gruff charm. The difference between this odd couple is night and day. Nevertheless, they somehow fit. As Maud says, “We’re like a pair of old socks.”