The story of MAID is shared through ten, amazing, life-changing episodes that chronicles a year in the life of Alex (Margaret Qualley). She is the cornerstone of this tale that sheds light on poverty, domestic violence, mental health, alcoholism, and maneuvering through the court system of this country.
Alex is a victim of domestic and emotional violence from her childhood and her current situation. She flees in the middle of the night holding her almost three year old daughter with only $18 in her pocket. She ends up at a DV woman’s shelter. Eventually she becomes a maid, and this is where her story comes alive.
The film is told with honesty and integrity for all of those who have been in this situation. Baby steps. There are no shortcuts and sometimes you fall over and over while trying to find your footing and solid ground. It is a hard road to travel and it takes grit, perseverance, and self-determination to get to the other side.
MAID succeeds on every level due to the phenomenal acting skills of Qualley. She keeps this film from crashing into a soap story. She shines in every scene and makes the viewer cheer her on even though she, at times, makes terrible choices. What drives Alex’s character is her unconditional love for her beautiful daughter, Maddy played by Rylea Nevaeh. Her smile lights up the screen and keeps Alex focused on her life’s dream.
Andie MacDowell plays Paula, Alex’s manic, bipolar mother. They are a real-life mother/daughter duo. The dialogues they share are powerful, intense, and fraught with raw emotion. What a gift to watch even when very painful.
The rest of the ensemble is incredible, giving the series depth and moments to peel back the layers and finally breathe. Kudos to Nick Robinson (Sean), Anika Noni Rose (Regina), Billy Burke (Hank), and BJ Harrison (Denise).
MAID allows us to be a voyeur during a difficult timeline. It is worth every moment in the end. It is available to stream on Netflix.