Maud (Sally Hawkins), a bright-eyed, intelligent woman, hunched with crippled hands from arthritis, yearns to be independent from her overly protective family. She answers an advertisement for a housekeeper by a 40-year-old bachelor who owes nothing to anyone. She is a terrible housekeeper and spends most of her time painting. But over time, she wins his heart. When they realize people will actually buy her cards and paintings, he supports and encourages her. Mauds determination for her art, along with her partnership with Everett (Ethan Hawke), blossoms into a career as a famous folk artist.