Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Happy Go Lucky.

Poppy always puts a smile on your face .......

North London Primary School teacher Poppy Cross appears to have one main aim in life, to make everyone she comes in contact with happy, the young children she teaches, Zoe her flat sharing best friend, her two sisters, the slightly out of control younger sister Suzy and her married sister Helen who is heavily pregnant and lives in a semi detached on a moderately new estate in Southend–on-Sea with her husband. In fact every one of her close circle of friends and work colleagues all seem to love this attractive bouncy, zany, full of life 30 year-old Londoner. Well that is until she decides to take driving lessons after her beloved bicycle is stolen. Her instructor Scott turns out to be a very uptight individual and Poppy’s bright disposition only makes things worse.

...except when it comes to her driving instructor!

Happy Go Lucky (2008) is a British comedy drama written and directed by Mike Leigh and a film I have enjoyed many times since its cinematic release. The utter enjoyment of this film comes from Sally Hawkins performance as the unique free spirited, openly generous and funny Poppy spreading warmth and humour like a Pied Piper of Finsbury Park. Her performance lifts the role above the simple comedic into the realms of an inspired character study. Hawkins had previously worked with the director in two other films All or Nothing (2002) and Vera Drake (2004) as well as being nominated for a Best Actress Award in such films as the excellent Made in Dagenham (2010) and Richard Ayoade debut film  Submarine (2011). As is normal with Leigh’s film’s the casting is excellent, especially Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur 2011) as the bigoted driving instructor whose relationship with Poppy is central to the narrative.  This is an honest and humane portrayal of modern cosmopolitan London life about openness and love and a film that I can promise will lift your spirits even on the darkest of days.

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