Film Title (Original): Happy-Go-Lucky
Film Title (Spanish): La Dulce Vida
Film Title (In English): Happy-Go-Lucky
Country Of Origin: England
Year Of Completion: 2008
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Format/Color/Bw: Widescreen, Color, 35 mm
Language: English
Subtitles: Yes
Rating: R
Director: Mike Leigh
Screenplay: Mike Leigh
Executive Producers: James Clayton, Gail Egan, David Garrett, Duncan Reid, Tessa Ross
Producers: Simon Channing Williams
Camera: Dick Pope
Editor: Jim Clark
Music: Gary Yershon
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Eddie Marsan

Competition 2008 Berlin Film Festival, Winner Best Actress, Sally Hawkins


Golden Globe, 2009, Best Actress


Oscar Nomination For Best Screenplay

British Independent Film Awards 2008
  • Won, British Independent Film Award
    Best Supporting Actor
    Eddie Marsan
  • Won, British Independent Film Award
    Best Supporting Actress
    Alexis Zegerman
Boston Society Of Film Critics Awards 2008
  • Won, Bsfc Award Best Actress
    Sally Hawkins

Mike Leigh
Known for his lengthy rehearsal process in which characters develop in depth through improvisation as a final script is constructed, English writer-director Mike Leigh has directed theatrical features including Bleak Moments (1971), High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1991), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999) and Vera Drake (2004). One of the cinema’s most respected directors, Leigh’s work has garnered prizes at Cannes, Venice and Berlin.

British auteur Mike Leigh is back with his most mellow work yet--and his most purely entertaining. The effervescent comedy Happy-Go-Lucky offers a lighthearted slice-of-life as seen through eyes of free-spirited North London nursery-school teacher Poppy (Sally Hawkins) in a storyline involving lessons of various sorts and humorous comparisons of teaching methods.

Poppy is an ever-smiling optimist who is happy with her life, and someone who tries to brighten the day of everyone she encounters with constant chatter and jokes. When her bike is stolen, Poppy decides to take driving lessons from the Axle School of Motoring (motto: “Good Driving is no Accident”) where she and tightly wound instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan) have something of a personality clash.

Thin, fine-boned Hawkins (Best Actress, Berlin Film Festival), so good in small parts in Vera Drake and All or Nothing, manages to make what initially appears to be a scatty, irritating character ultimately endearing. Marsan (also from Vera Drake) gets some of the film’s best dialogue, with long, paranoia-filled rants about “the system.” His use of mnemonics to cue proper driving behaviour doesn’t rub off on Poppy, but “ENRAHA” will surely be one of film’s most quoted lines.

III Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2009