Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Go Lucky

Mike Leigh might be the best British film maker alive and working.

Over the past 20 years he's built up a strong body of work that describes and examines the lives of ordinary British people and British society. He seems to do two types of films; the dark and the comedic, although there's a lot of overlap between the two.

In Happy Go Lucky Sally Hawkins plays Poppy, a 30 year old London Primary school teacher who always sees the best of things and is one of those blessed souls who's always happy. Pollyannas bring out the worst in me and within a few minutes I was determined to hate Poppy, but its a tribute to the script and the acting that I couldn't. As the film goes on she becomes more and more real and rounded and switched on. It's really an extraordinary character study, a kind of mirror image to Naked - a much darker film about a much darker character.

Something I really noticed this time was the brilliance of Mike Leigh's visual sense. Seldom remarked on, he's got a real talent for seeing the beauty in the deformed urban landscapes of Britain. We're lucky to have him... despite his taste in incidental music.



Blogger Dave said...

Glad you caught up with Happy Go Lucky. I'm sure most of us have that reaction to Poppy. I too enjoyed the slightly grimy cityscapes.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Looks like I had better put that one on the list...........Kx

10:33 PM  

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