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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 & 59 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 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:

£385,190 (United Kingdom), 20 April 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,867, 12 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,494,485, 18 January 2009
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

Rehearsals took six months. See more »

Goofs

In the build up to the final (aborted) driving lesson Scott (Eddie Marsan) is seen turning right into Holloway road (half way up and heading north), then moments later they are seen navigating the Highbury and Islington roundabout, turning into again into Holloway road about half a mile south of the previous location. 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

Featured in Happy-Go-Lucky: B-Roll (2008) 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

 
Wisdom, not naivety
12 July 2008 | by DaSchaustSee all my reviews

Having read some critiques to the extent that this was a film about a naive, childish woman who refused to take life seriously, I was hesitant whether I'd be able to bear this movie.

Luckily, it turned out to be one of the most entertaining cinema experiences since quite a long time.

Poppy isn't the person refusing to become an adult which her misanthropic driving instructor Scott accuses her to be. Our time indeed seems to bring about such people but they could hardly be more different than this lovely young woman. The first scene, with the girls drunk and chatting nonsense, is perhaps a bit misleading on this issue. (In fact, several people left the cinema during this scene, seemingly annoyed of all the giggling.) Rather, Poppy is wise and strong, trying to see the positive in everyone and everything. Humour, and sometimes benign derision, are her ways of keeping sulkiness out of her life. But, as everyone with a heart should feel, that is a gift, not a deficit. What damage can it cause to have a nice word or a smile for your fellow humans? On the other hand, she doesn't shut her eyes on the sad sides of life, such as a traumatized homeless man or a boy beaten by his mother's new partner, and one understands that she is deeply sad about not being able to help Scott, even if she would have had every reason to simply hate him for his bad temper, his racism and his stalking.

The director has done a superb job with this production; it is packed with intelligent, witty dialogs and convincingly drawn characters.

Our world needs a lot more people like Poppy, or at least -- if they don't possess her strength and optimism -- people who are sympathetic with her values instead of feeling threatened by humaneness. Yes, life is difficult and often sad, so let's tackle it with a smile!


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