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      R Released Oct 10, 2008 1h 58m Comedy List
      93% Tomatometer 163 Reviews 67% Audience Score 25,000+ Ratings Teacher Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins) is an eternal optimist who lives with her more cynical friend Zoe (Alexis Zegerman). Deciding she wants to learn to drive, she starts taking lessons from Scott (Eddie Marsan), a tense and downbeat instructor who believes Poppy's levity reflects a lack of seriousness. Although they clash, Poppy is not deterred from her goal. Meanwhile, she starts dating Tim, a social worker who came to her school to help a child. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      Mike Leigh's latest partially-improvised film is a light-hearted comedy with moments that bite, and features a brilliant star turn by Sally Hawkins.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Ben Kenigsberg Time Out Rated: 4/5 Nov 17, 2011 Full Review Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel Hawkins wears her grin in almost every scene, but she gives us hints that this dizzy 30-year-old is deep, as are the disappointments that might have caused Poppy to don this mask. It's a performance of sustained, childlike wonder and adult wit. Rated: 4/5 Nov 13, 2008 Full Review Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle I've never used this clich in a review before, and God forbid I ever use it again, so pay close attention: Happy-Go-Lucky is the feel-good movie of the year. Rated: 4/4 Oct 31, 2008 Full Review Jeremy Carr Vague Visages Mike Leigh’s 2008 film Happy-Go-Lucky, one of the most joyous of movies and one of the year’s very best, is a breezy two-hour character study that seems to have the vibrantly unfettered cheer of a coloring book as its foundational text. Nov 16, 2023 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review Happy-Go-Lucky shows a different method of survival than viewers of Leigh's cinema are accustomed, though it is no less serious nor funny than any of his other work. Rated: 4/4 Feb 14, 2022 Full Review Charlotte Harrison Charlotte Sometimes Goes to the Movies Possessing an irrefutable optimism that tends to exasperate those arounds her, Hawkins is a true joy to watch in this wonderful gem of a movie. Jun 1, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Sally Hawkins has never acted so wonderfully and energetically as she does here she totally steals the screen its a trying film that attempts to lift up people's spirits and let happyness run its course despite the limitations and obstacles we face there's no harm in bringing a smile to someone's face a true testament saying we can’t make everyone happy but there’s no harm in trying Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 05/17/24 Full Review KB B This was such an entertaining movie with good acting and storyline. Sally Hawkins was just a treasurer. It's definitely worth the watch. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/02/24 Full Review geoffrey k sally hawkins' interaction with the homeless man is something of true bravery Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/24 Full Review Kyle M Sally Hawkins definitively shines positively through life's demonstrated mundaneness that nicely reminds buried depths as humane baggage, admittedly solidifying its hidden gem status with minimal engagement but admired over central optimism. (B) Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/15/23 Full Review X-rayed first it's not a Comedy movie it's just about a nice girl and it's overrated Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 07/06/23 Full Review Matthew D A delightfully bizarre and upbeat comedy! Director Mike Leigh's British comedy-drama Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) is an insane character study of a young lady who is truly happy-go-lucky in personality. Mike Leigh's direction is totally focused on Poppy the entire time, so we really get to know her strange, yet bubbly personality. Cinematographer Dick Pope holds on striking close-up and medium shot framing, then can be smoothly panning to follow Poppy closely. His irreverent sense of humor permeates every wild joke that is hilarious. Happy-Go-Lucky is fast paced and never feels like 118 minutes. Editor Jim Clark has these slick cuts that jump immediately to each joke. His writing is so cunning with witty humor that also reveals Poppy's peculiar lifestyle. I simply adore the way he writes that's casually spoken, but deeply felt. English actress Sally Hawkins is adorable, playful, heartbreaking, and hilarious as the lovable Pauline Cross, who only goes by Poppy. She beams with a radiant warmth and a kindhearted empathy. Hawkins' bubbly personality ensures Poppy is charming, funny, sexy, and always fun loving. Only Hawkins could make Poppy so silly and sweet with a positive attitude that never leaves her. It feels rare to see such an optimist as a romantic heroine. Sally Hawkins' endless happiness beams across the silver screen right into your heart with one of cinema's most likable protagonists. Sally Hawkins is gorgeous, compelling, and amusing as Mike Leigh's heroine Poppy. What a pleasant lead performance that should have gotten her an Oscar. British actress Alexis Zegerman is so warm and caring as Poppy's beautiful and affectionate best friend Zoe. English actor Samuel Roukin's sweet social worker Tim is quite fun opposite Sally Hawkins. Every supporting actor gives a great character actor performance full of mirth and personality. English actor Eddie Marsan is a scream as the irritable driving instructor Scott. It's funny watching Marsan seethe at Poppy's constant jokes. His insane memorization devices for Poppy like his pyramid idea are so funny. He constantly complains and Scott's sudden racism is actually shocking. Marsan acts best when he's mad and screaming and Happy-Go-Lucky lets his Scott go off. His raving rants and casual racism during the speeding roundabout is hysterical, especially when he freaks out and starts chasing Poppy. His big angry speech admitting his love is so funny and pathetic. Marsan basically serves as Happy-Go-Lucky's incel villain with his stark raving mad Scott. English actress Andrea Riseborough is nice and rather quiet as Poppy's subdued girlfriend Dawn. Sinead Matthews is super funny as Poppy's playful friend Alice. Sylvestra Le Touzel is very kind and empathetic as Poppy's friend and school counselor Heather. Her fun flamenco dancing and considerate listening is appreciated. British actress Caroline Martin plays such a dour and stuffy sister to Poppy named Helen. Her controlling demands over Poppy's life are so mean and it's fun to see her as a foil to Suzy. British actor Oliver Maltman is funny as the emasculated Jamie. British actress Kate O'Flynn is hysterical and sexy as Poppy's sympathetic sister Suzy. She's my favorite supporting actress in Happy-Go-Lucky. Her forlorn attitude is sorrowful, but she also plays Suzy as a fun loving brunette with a blonde hair dye. Her bored personality is lovely. You loathe English actor Joseph Kloska as Suzy's loser boyfriend with his grotesquely sexist British attitude. British actress Karina Fernandez is a riot as the intense and fiery Flamenco teacher with her own woes. Irish actor Stanley Townsend's tramp is fascinating, terrifying, and saddening all at once. Production designer Mark Tildesley creates a cute and colorful flat for Poppy and her children's classroom. Composer Gary Yershon brings a bubbly and playful score that's as fun loving as Sally Hawkins' heroine Poppy. Sound designer Tim Fraser lets the music mix burst to life and adds in sharp noises to startle you sometimes. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran comes up with the most funnily mismatched and vibrantly colorful outfits for Sally Hawkins to wear. Her orange panties, black laced stockings, and pink bra with blue blouses and orange jackets are so fun. Make-up artist Christine Blundell gives Sally Hawkins the prettiest blush. Overall, Happy-Go-Lucky is a sheer blast to watch thanks to Sally Hawkins' lovable tour de force as Poppy! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Teacher Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins) is an eternal optimist who lives with her more cynical friend Zoe (Alexis Zegerman). Deciding she wants to learn to drive, she starts taking lessons from Scott (Eddie Marsan), a tense and downbeat instructor who believes Poppy's levity reflects a lack of seriousness. Although they clash, Poppy is not deterred from her goal. Meanwhile, she starts dating Tim, a social worker who came to her school to help a child.
      Mike Leigh
      Simon Channing Williams, Georgina Lowe
      Mike Leigh
      Miramax Films
      Production Co
      Summit Entertainment, UK Film Council, Thin Man Films
      R (Language)
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 10, 2008, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 8, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      1h 58m
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