Happy-Go-Lucky (2008, Mike Leigh)

There’s a traffic jam on the movie-blog because I couldn’t think of anything to say about Happy-Go-Lucky. I liked it though! Katy kinda liked it too. Happy teacher Sally Hawkins tries to infect everyone around her with happiness, meets a stone wall in her paranoid, misanthropic driving instructor. There’s also trouble with an unresponsive store clerk, a mentally disturbed homeless man, her picture-perfect pregnant sister, and a young school bully with abuse issues at home. Through the kid Sally meets a cute boy, a child counselor with whom she goes boating at the end.

I don’t remember Sally Hawkins from Vera Drake. I don’t remember driving instructor Eddie Marsan from any of his eight movies I’ve seen in the last five years, poor guy. I’ll look out for him playing John Houseman in Linklater’s new movie.

People who called this movie the flipside to Leigh’s Naked were right on (though Leigh himself doesn’t think so). It’s one of the few movies I’ve seen theatrically lately which I would gladly watch again right now.

D. Denby: “Leigh surrounds her with a realistic social world—workplace, family, students, a variety of grumpy and dissatisfied people. She greets them all with such frothy benevolence that you fear for her. Yet the movie, shot on sunshiny, light-filled days, feels joyous and loose-limbed, and the audience learns to relax and go with it.”