Happy Go Lucky

Mike Leigh (2008)

Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin, Eddie Marsan Rated 15 Run time 118 mins

A look back to a classic Mike Leigh film.

Starring Sally Hawkins as the irrepressible Poppy cycling round London so happy as to be incredibly irritating to a grumpy shop assistant. We see her character develop in a film of endless small incidents and revelations taking place over a few weeks in her life. Although she is constantly smiling and being nice to everyone there are two running crises in her life; As a primary teacher she discovers a little boy bullying other pupils and it transpires he is being beaten by his single mother’s lover. The other crisis, almost a film in itself, arises from the driving lessons she takes with the uptight Scott (a brilliant performance from Eddie Marsan) the polar opposite to Poppy. The driving lessons become lessons about life. The smile is taken off Poppy’s face, and she’s forced to ponder what this crash course has taught her about society and the human psyche. As her friend puts it maybe Poppy should consider “giving up being nice to everyone”. A thoroughly enjoyable film from beginning to end!

92% – Rotten Tomatoes
7/10 – IMDB

“Leigh pushes the story in a more interesting direction, asking whether people find happiness or simply will it on themselves.”

“The British actress Sally Hawkins delivers a nervy, utterly captivating tour de force performance in Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh’s transporting new film.”

Film Review: There’s a smile on my face, for almost the whole human race – Roger Ebert