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Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

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A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Hawkins ... Poppy
Elliot Cowan ... Bookshop Assistant
Alexis Zegerman ... Zoe
Andrea Riseborough ... Dawn
Sinead Matthews ... Alice (as Sinéad Matthews)
Kate O'Flynn ... Suzy
Sarah Niles ... Tash
Eddie Marsan ... Scott
Joseph Kloska ... Suzy's Boyfriend
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Heather
Anna Reynolds Anna Reynolds ... Receptionist
Nonso Anozie ... Ezra
Trevor Cooper ... Patient
Karina Fernandez ... Rosita Santos
Philip Arditti ... Flamenco Student
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Storyline

Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The one movie this fall that will put a smile on your face.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MK2 [France] | Momentum Pictures [UK] | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Go Lucky See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,867, 12 October 2008

Gross USA:

$3,494,485
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Samuel Roukin. See more »

Goofs

In the scene after Poppy has aborted her lessons for good with Scott, she walks past the same row of shops twice. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: [first lines]
Poppy: [pulls out book from shelf] The Road to Reality...
[smiles and pushes the book back]
Poppy: Don't wanna be going there!
[laughs]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode #44.4 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Common People
Performed by Pulp
Written by Jarvis Cocker (as Cocker) / Nick Banks (as Banks) / Candida Doyle (as Doyle) / Steve Mackey (as Mackey) / Russell Senior (as Senior)
Published by Universal/Island Music Ltd
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd
Under licence from Universal Music Operations
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Maybe the world is too much for even the most dedicated optimist?
23 April 2008 | by seawalkerSee all my reviews

Some UK critics have been saying that "Happy-Go-Lucky" is the happiest and most cheerful movie that Mike Leigh has ever made. Well, I don't know if I would exactly agree with that. It is and it isn't.

Sally Hawkins' primary school teacher Poppy is, indeed, a very happy individual. Annoyingly happy, insanely cheerful, depressingly optimistic and psychotically 'Up!', most of the time. It is a tribute to Sally Hawkins performance that, once you get past the initial irritation with her, you completely fall in love with Poppy, her goodness, her openness and, yes, her simple niceness.

Then there is Eddie Marsan's driving instructor Scott. Scott is the very antithesis of happy. Scott is rigid, angry, frustrated, impatient, knotted up and racist. A borderline OCD sufferer, who is tortured by who-knows-what in his past. Scott is the most bitter and overwhelming character in a Mike Leigh film since David Thewlis' Johnny in "Naked". It is a towering performance by Eddie Marsan.

If Poppy is the light, Scott is definitely the dark, but it seemed to me that dark shadows inhabit the whole of "Happy-Go-Lucky". The unhappy schoolboy, the glum Sister, the other sister - a social climber who dominates her husband. Little vignettes of irritation and annoyance. Typical Mike Leigh.

"Happy-Go-Lucky" is a really good film, if you stick with it. I liked the way that Poppy does stop smiling towards the end. Maybe the world is too much for even the most dedicated optimist?


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