Award-winning, feel-good film

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am

As financial doom and gloom continue to spread, we need more films like Happy-Go-Lucky to lift our spirits. Directed by British director Mike Leigh, the film focuses on the mundane daily details of perennial optimist Poppy (Sally Hawkins).

The ordinariness is interspersed with philosophical lessons on life. Set in contemporary London, the film features dull locations like residential blocks and a local kindergarten, shunning landmarks like the London Eye and Tower Bridge.

But the plot twists more than make up for the less-than-glamorous portrayal of the city.

From the confrontation between Poppy and her driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan), to her counselling sessions with a pupil who gets beaten up at home, we see the heroine's always-positive and effervescent approach to life being tested by cruel realities.

Instead of feeling despondent in the face of adversity, Poppy always sees a silver lining. But her optimistic outlook is challenged by the cynical curmudgeon Scott, whose heated exchanges with Poppy inside the car are the film's climactic moments.

Hawkins' solid portrayal of Poppy shines, leaving the audience rooting for her when she is down on luck. Earlier this week, she won the Golden Globe for 'Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical' for the role.