Happy-Go-Lucky

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(2008) ★★★

Film4: Sunday 3 August, 1am

Sally Hawkins is Poppy, cycling around north London, waving and smiling like a sunny simpleton. Ever the beaming optimist, nothing gets her down. Not even having her bicycle stolen. She’s a 30-year-old primary school teacher who goes out clubbing with her gin-slinging pals. The title of Mike Leigh’s dramedy does not lie. Poppy is happy-happy-happy (although she lacks the snap and sparkle of Leigh’s Career Girls). She’s the exact opposite of David Thewlis’ Johnny in Naked, although they do have one thing in common – they both like to be the centre of attention. Thewlis scowled at the world, of course. Poppy’s trying to put a smile on its face. Good luck with that. Beautifully shot in widescreen by ace cameraman Dick Pope, although the bandstandy music is a little heavy going. The best scenes involve Eddie Marsan, who’s electrifying as Poppy’s glum driving instructor. He was happy until he met her.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 118min

IMDB – Happy-Go-Lucky

TMDB – Happy-Go-Lucky

Rotten Tomatoes – Happy-Go-Lucky