Happy-Go-Lucky by L.H. CoswayEvery workplace has that one person you don’t want to mess with.
At James & Peterson Investigations, that would be Cameron Grant: sullen, grouchy, intimidating, oh yeah, and sexy as hell. He can make your soul wither with a single disapproving glare. And he never, ever socialises with his co-workers.
This is why Maisie Wilkins, happy-go-lucky ray of sunshine, can’t fathom why Cameron finally decided to show up at their annual office Christmas party. Every year he received an invite, and every year he failed to attend. But not this year.
Curious as to why he’s there, Maisie can’t resist sitting next to Cameron. Before she knows it, she’s had one too many drinks and is drunkenly hailing a cab back to his place. Office party flings are not something she normally does, but despite his intimidating character, Cameron has a charm she can’t resist. Or maybe it was just those five gin and tonics blurring her judgement.
Whatever the reason, Maisie now has to navigate the awkward, tension filled waters of sharing an office with someone she’s slept with.
Full Movie: Happy Go Lucky
Get ready for Sally Hawkins, a dynamo of an actress who will have her way with you in Happy-Go-Lucky , leaving you enchanted, enraged to the point of madness and utterly dazzled. You should know right off that this is a Mike Leigh movie. Leigh, brought up in a Jewish immigrant family, has been called a poet of the working class. His scripts come out of improvisation, from what the actors come up with during rehearsals. Poppy wears her optimism like a second skin; it jangles like her jewelry.
For what feels like the first time in his more than 35 years of bringing an exceptional level of insight and intensity to the exploration of human behavior, Leigh has put a thoroughly happy person front and center in one of his films. Played by Sally Hawkins in a performance that won the Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival, Poppy practically defines irrepressible. She is a person open to life, open to experience, someone with a centeredness and sense of balance that keeps her from getting more than temporarily down. Once Leigh decides that his people are at the appropriate stage of readiness, the director brings them together for more months of extensive improvisations before a final script is nailed down and filmed. So while it is possible to describe Poppy as a curious, game-for-anything London primary school teacher who shares a flat with fellow teacher Zoe Alexis Zegerman and likes to unwind on the trampoline, the fact that she is a complex person and not a conceit makes all the difference. Because Leigh works that way with all his characters, even those who turn out to be minor -- like a determined flamenco teacher Karina Fernandez and a disoriented street person Stanley Townsend -- all have an emotional texture that makes us sit up and take notice.
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Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" is the story of a good woman. As simple as that. We first see Poppy peddling her bike through London, and smiling all the time to herself. She stops at a bookshop and tries to cheer up the dour proprietor. No, that isn't right. She doesn't want to change him, just infect him with her irrepressible good nature.