As the financial doom and gloom continue to spread, we need more films like Happy-Go-Lucky to lift our spirits. Directed by Briton Mike Leigh, the film focuses on the ordinary daily details of eternal optimist Poppy (Sally Hawkins). The dullness is combined with philosophical lessons on life.
Set in present-day London, the film features dull locations like residential blocks and a local kindergarten instead of 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 lively approach to life being tested by cruel realities. Instead of feeling unhappy in the face of troubles, Poppy always sees a silver lining. But her optimistic outlook is challenged by the miserable Scott, whose arguments with Poppy inside the car are the film's most exciting moments.
Hawkins' portrayal of Poppy is solid, leaving the audience rooting for her when she is down on her luck. Last year, she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for the role.