Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Director: Mike Leigh

Happy-Go-Lucky follows a primary school teacher, Poppy, played by Sally Hawkins, who has an infectious, positive manner about her. She’s the shining core of the film, an upbeat, happy, yet absolutely three dimensional character.

Poppy’s nature is, inevitably, somewhat tested in Happy-Go-Lucky, not least by driving instructor Scott. Superbly played by Eddie Marsan, it’s fair to say that Scott doesn’t share Poppy’s positivity, yet once more, he’s a frighteningly real character, and at times extremely unsettling to watch.

There are layers to Happy-Go-Lucky, with plenty bubbling on under the surface, yet that there’s no escaping the fact that it is a cheerier movie than Leigh usually delivers. It’s fuelled particularly by Sally Hawkins, who is quite brilliant in the central role, and it’s potentially a career-making performance from her.


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