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Poppys nature is, inevitably, somewhat tested in Happy-Go-Lucky, not least by driving instructor Scott. Superbly played by Eddie Marsan, its fair to say that Scott doesnt share Poppys positivity, yet once more, hes a frighteningly real character, and at times extremely unsettling to watch.
There are layers to Happy-Go-Lucky, with plenty bubbling on under the surface, yet that theres no escaping the fact that it is a cheerier movie than Leigh usually delivers. Its fuelled particularly by Sally Hawkins, who is quite brilliant in the central role, and its potentially a career-making performance from her.
Yet, once again, the hidden star of Happy-Go-Lucky is Mike Leigh himself, who has shaped an often very funny film, but not one without some gravitas to it. The man remains a national treasure, and Happy-Go-Lucky is but the latest reason why. An easy film to recommend. --Jon Foster
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