Friday Film Festival: Happy-Go-Lucky


British director, Mike Leigh, of Topsy-Turvy and  Secrets and Lies fame (also, some you may not have heard of—Vera Drake, Naked, High Hopes and Life is Sweet to name a few) presents a surprisingly rich film of free-wheeling joy.

In the character of Poppy, Sally Hawkins (who won a Golden Globe for her role) brings to life a young woman who is guileless in the extreme. She sees the good in everything, or at least can take the good with the bad without complaining.  When, in the early frames of the film, her bicycle is stolen, her reaction is not the typical anger or bitter feeling that most of us would experience;  she laughs it off and makes the best of things.  

Poppy’s life is simple: she’s a primary school teacher by day, a bit of a partier by night and a seeker of happiness 24-7.  After work, she spends her time playfully bouncing on a trampoline and experiments with Flamenco dancing for the sheer fun of it. Poppy doesn’t have a boyfriend, but does that bother her? No way!

Poppy is intent on getting her driver’s license.  In the act of so doing, she encounters her extreme opposite in the form of Scott, a bitter and twisted, angry young man who is running a driving school.  His character serves to spotlight just how much of a breath of fresh air, is Poppy.

Poppy loves everybody.  She is devoted to her best friend and room-mate, Zoe and her own slightly less happy sister, Suzy.  She even goes out of her way to try and bring some joy to fractured souls.

When she embarks on a romantic relationship, Poppy is free-spirited and casual, but her feelings come across in a sweet and charming way not often seen on the screen.

Poppy is not your usual sort of young woman, but we can only hope that there are women like her out there who really do exist. If I can somehow incorporate some of the elements of Poppy’s character into my own, I’ll be doing well.  I wish the world had more “Poppys”.

Do yourself a favour and watch this quirky, unexpected, sometimes challenging little film. I defy you not to have a smile on your face, if not immediately following, maybe a day or two later…after the pixie dust settles.  (I know I’ll be watching it again very soon myself.)

Please enjoy this little trailer I found:

More about this movie


20 thoughts on “Friday Film Festival: Happy-Go-Lucky

  1. I liked Topsy Turvy and had forgotten it was directed by Mike Leigh. This looks like a film I would like, Kat, thanks! You know how much I like “quirk”.


  2. Thanks for this Kat.I'm going to keep an eye out for it. Haven't heard of it but it does look good and I love the Lily Allen music too.She reminds me of my niece who is a primary teacher and is a ray of sunshine, always laughing no matter what happens.


  3. Thanks for recommending that. I'll check it out this weekend I think. The boys are going to brother-in-law's (Georgetown) and I don't feel like “opening up” the pool. My cousin Lizzie in Devon sounds just like Poppy. “Not a sausage” sounds like one her coloquialisms.


  4. This sounds delightful! Me? I'm probably off to see Wolverine! I may have to go alone if my thirty-something sons-in-law don't come home this weekend!


  5. It's interesting – I read a damning review of this a while back on another blog (haven't got round to seeing it myself yet). That reviewer found the main character really annoying and the film maddening! I think it's one of those films where a viewer's reaction to it will say a lot about their attitude to happiness and simplicity and people…I'm going to have to watch it soon now to see what I think!x


  6. That looks great. I love quirky British films. I hope I can remember to look into renting a copy of this. From the clip, I wish there were more people like her, too. Have you seen the movie Letters to Frankie with Emily Mortimer. I don't know why this made me think of it except for the British accents – but it's such a great film you might like.


  7. Willow – This is quirk to the power of 10! You'll enjoy it, I'm sure.Winifred – The music is great, isn't it? I've heard the name Lily Allen, but don't know her stuff. I'll be looking out for her now.John – You're welcome! If you get the chance to see it, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.CP – Where in Devon? I have an Aunt and Uncle who lived near Newton Abbot (out on the moors and not far from an Agatha Christie house.)Sparky – It's upbeat, but has a few dark moments, so be warned!Karen! Wolverine? Is it Hugh, or the Wolverine character that draws you? If it's Hugh, see the film “The Prestige”.Gramma Ann – I honestly don't know if it would be to your taste, Ann. It is seriously quirky and you have to have a good sense of the British (and understand what they're saying) so it's tricky.Deb – You know it! And it comes into play big time. That's all I'm saying.Rachel Fox – Hi! I can't tell if you'd like it. Perhaps, like me, you WILL find her a bit annoying as you are watching, but she gets under your skin and you end up getting HER. At least I did. I'll be interested to hear your reaction.Jen – I've seen that trailer for “Letters to Frankie” I don't know how many times. I really MUST do something about it.I just know you will LOVE Happy-Go-Lucky!Kat


  8. Michelle Hix – Yes. I've removed my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I've found it way too distracting. More stuff will be disappearing from Facebook too. If you want to contact me, please send an e-mail.Kat


  9. Looks like my kind-o-film and one I've been waiting to see. Great minds, and all that. . .glad you liked the 'ranunculus' of my travels. I am still chuckling.Have a great week


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