Happy Go Lucky (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/04/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 118 mins

Mike Leigh's latest film is a delightful drama with a superb script and a terrific performance from Sally Hawkins.

What's it all about?
Rising British star Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy, a happy-go-lucky primary school teacher who lives in North London with her best friend Zoe (Alexis Zegerman). When her bike gets stolen, eternal optimist Poppy sees it as an opportunity to finally take driving lessons, which is how she meets tightly-wound driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan).

Poppy's ability to laugh at everything life throws at her has an endearing effect on everyone around her, whether she's taking flamenco lessons, dealing with a troubled child in her class or just hanging around with her friends or sisters (Kate O'Flynn and Caroline Martin). Meanwhile, she begins a tentative relationship with an attractive social worker (Samuel Roukin), just as she begins to realise that Scott a) is a little bit disturbed and b) may have a bit of a crush on her.

The Good
Sally Hawkins is simply sensational as Poppy and if there's any justice, it won't be long before she's a household name and rightfully regarded as one of Britain's best young actresses. She delivers a warm-hearted, bubbly performance that is both deeply likeable and utterly believable.

In addition, there's strong support from Eddie Marsan (cast against type for once, to amusing and unsettling effect) and from Alexis Zegerman, whose dry, gently sarcastic delivery perfectly complements Poppy's permanent cheeriness.

The Bad
Admittedly, there isn't much of a plot to speak of, beyond the odd small incident, which is occasionally frustrating, particularly in the subplot involving the boy at her school. Similarly, a bizarre scene involving a tramp doesn't work at all and feels like it was a remnant of an earlier, much darker version of the script.

Worth seeing?
In short, Happy Go Lucky is a thoroughly enjoyable film from an uncharacteristically cheerful Mike Leigh, thanks to a terrific performance from Sally Hawkins. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Happy Go Lucky (15)
Happy Go Lucky has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 23/04/2019 07:24

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