October 9th, 2008


Happy-Go-Lucky, The Dark Knight, Shall We Kiss?

Comedy from Mike Leigh about an irrepressibly cheerful primary school teacher (Sally Hawkins who rightfully won the Best Actress Award this year in Berlin) who won't let anyone or anything get her down. Living with her flatmate, she has a gift for making the most of life. After her bicycle gets stolen she's determined to learn to drive. She finds herself matched with Scott (Eddie Marsan), an uptight driving instructor who is everything she is not.

Since for me watching movies most of the time is escapism, movies from British directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach usually aren't my first choice when it comes to going to the movies. But the trailer and the reviews easily convinced me that this one will be worth a look.
If you've seen the trailer you could easily think that this is a pure comedy, but fans of working-class British Cinema can be assured that's not entirely the case. Yes, Poppy is an incredibly cheery and positive person, even to the point where you really feel the urge building to shout at her to shut up, and maybe even want to slap her because of her non-stop talking. But after the while she's also confronted with more challenging situations and it's interesting to see how she manages them.
All of this is contrasted with the driving instructor who really is her polar opposite. Just as Poppy is the eternal optimist, he's the pessimist. And it all comes down to a matter of world views and I was very pleased with the way the situations were handled.
It may sound naive but if more people were like Poppy the world would be a better place.

The movie is a life lesson, maybe not a very subtle one, but nevertheless very enjoyable. A welcome reminder that it's a good idea to "look at the bright side of life" and recommended to everyone who's in need for something positive because of, for example, let's say, campaign politics or a global financial and economic crisis.

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