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Just how hard is it to be happy? In the effervescent new comedy from writer/director Mike Leigh, Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters, offering us a touching, truthful and deeply life-affirming exploration of one of the most mysterious and often the most elusive of all human qualities: happiness. Poppy's ability to maintain her perspective is tested as the story begins and her commuter bike is stolen. However, she enthusiastically signs up for driving… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Hawkins wears her grin in almost every scene, but she gives us hints that this dizzy 30-year-old is deep, as are the disappointments that might have caused Poppy to don this mask. It's a performance of sustained, childlike wonder and adult wit."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Sally Hawkins, in a blinding, Oscar-worthy piece of acting so good you barely see it, plays Poppy, a perpetually upbeat elementary schoolteacher in London."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"You just want to protect her, from the world, from everything, but really she's much stronger than you are."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"While Sally Hawkins turns out an award-worthy performance as Poppy, I quickly became bored with her life and all the turmoil surrounding it."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"England's addlepated answer to Amelie!"
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"It's a powerful argument for optimism."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Leigh pushes the story in a more interesting direction, asking whether people find happiness or simply will it on themselves."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"If you leave the theater feeling uplifted (and unless your heart is made of cold gray concrete, you will), it wasn't due to manipulation, but a result of the film having honestly earned it."
‑ Ian Buckwalter, DCist
"Few actors could have pulled off this role successfully, as it requires great energy, charisma and depth to make Poppy credible and so much more than first impressions."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"Fresh, spunky and well acted. Sally Hawkins is enchanting and the rest of the cast is enjoyable."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"I've never used this cliché in a review before, and God forbid I ever use it again, so pay close attention: Happy-Go-Lucky is the feel-good movie of the year."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"The new Mike Leigh film, Happy-Go-Lucky, is a real pleasure, and besides being Leigh's most buoyantly comic feature it's a marvelous showcase for Sally Hawkins, who has worked twice before with the British writer-director."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Leigh's most visually beautiful picture since Topsy-Turvy, Happy-Go-Lucky is all about the clashing and connecting of such emotional biospheres."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Sally Hawkins is a comic revelation, an impish, endlessly charming sprite..."
‑ Brandon Fibbs, BrandonFibbs.com
"An unusually cheery movie from veteran British writer-director Mike Leigh; one of the ten best films of 2008"
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Orange County and Long Beach Blade
More reviews for Happy-Go-Lucky on Rotten Tomatoes

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