REEL Thursdays Return

Published: September 01, 2017

Blockbuster line-up slated for REEL Thursdays library fundraisers


REEL Thursdays movies are back for fall 2017 with a stellar line-up of comedy and drama.

The widely acclaimed Canadian movie Maudie (PG) kicks off the season on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in Landmark Theatres, Spruce Grove.

“This east coast true-life story about Nova Scotian artist Maud Dowley is sure to be a crowd pleaser,” says Dawna Scrivens, one of the library fundraiser organizers.  “Sally Hawkins deserves an Academy Award nomination and Ethan Hawke is simply remarkable.”

Determined to prove her independence to herself and her overprotective family, Maud answers an ad for a live-in housekeeper for the reclusive Everett Lewis.  But her artistic skills quickly eclipse her domestic duties.   Director Aisling Walsh brilliantly captures Maud’s growth into one of Canada’s most celebrated folk artists.

Maud has spent her whole life constrained by the effects of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, causing her parents and brother to have little faith in her ability to live independently.  After the loss of her parents leads her brother to sell her childhood home, Maud sets out to make her own way in the world and pursue her passion for art.   Determined to get a job and provide for herself, she shows up at Everett’s door.

Slowly, Maud’s warmth and positivity break through her new employer’s cold and reserved demeanor.  She accompanies him on his fish deliveries and brightens his home and his customers’ shipments with her colorful paintings.   With the encouragement of one of Everett’s customers, Maud begins selling her cards and paintings.  Locals soon take note, and word of her talents spreads far beyond Nova Scotia, attracting visitors to Maud and Everett’s home and notice from the White House.

Touching, funny and wonderfully acted by its two remarkable leads, Maudie is an inspirational, based-on-fact tale of a young artist whose talent and determination allowed her to surmount the obstacles in her way, and an unlikely love story of two lonely souls who find their places in the world together.

“As unassuming and gentle as its subject, Maudie breaks your heart with its infectious positivity,” says one reviewer.  “It’s an outstanding performance by Sally Hawkins, who can always be relied on for an emotionally sturdy, big-hearted performance.”

The season continues Oct. 19 with Their Finest (PG), a romantic comedy set in Britain’s wartime film industry.   Featuring a cast teeming with some of the UK’s most charismatic comedic actors, including Bill Nighy, Their Finest is about boosting morale during a period of national – and personal – crisis. 

REEL Thursdays ends Nov. 16 with A Man Called Ove (PG), a subtitled Swedish film based on Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel.  It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

Three-pack movie tickets for the season are priced at $30 or $12 for each movie.  Tickets are available at the SGPL during business hours or at the door the night of the movie, if tickets still remain. 

Patrons are invited to attend the complimentary wine and cheese beginning at 5:30 p.m. at nearby Liquor on McLeod.  State and Main will offer patrons a discount on their food and beverage following the movie.  Landmark Cinemas offers patrons a discount coupon on popcorn and soda.  

Other community sponsors for REEL Thursdays include Zender Ford, Main Street Law, Lions Club of Spruce Grove, Creative Color and the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove.

Movies are delivered courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit program, which brings arthouse movies to smaller community markets.

REEL Thursdays is organized by the Friends of the Spruce Grove Public Library, raising funds and voices for the benefit of the local library.    The Friends organization is seeking a volunteer interested in serving as secretary for the coming year.   For further information, e-mail or join the REEL Thursdays discussion group on Facebook.