Happy-Go-Lucky

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Co-presented by Ben’s Bells, with a facilitated post-screening discussion led by Ben’s Bells Director of Education, Laura Gronewald!

Just how hard is it to be happy? In this effervescent comedy from Oscar-nominated 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 up a funny and touching exploration of one of the most mysterious and elusive of all human qualities: happiness.

Happy-Go-Lucky is a real pleasure, and besides being Mike Leigh’s most buoyantly comic feature, it’s a marvelous showcase for the great Sally Hawkins.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

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 lessons with Scott, who turns out to be her nemesis–a fuming, angry, uptight cynic. As the tension of their weekly lessons builds, Poppy encounters even more challenges to her positive state of mind: a fiery flamenco instructor, her bitter, pregnant sister, a troubled homeless man and a young bully in her class, not to mention that she has also thrown out her back. How this affects not only Poppy’s world view but also the outlook of those around her begs the question, “glass half full or half empty”? (Dir. by Mike Leigh, 2008, USA, 118 mins., Rated R)