2008 Comedy Drama

Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan star in director Mike Leigh's seriocomedy concerning an eternally optimistic teacher living and working in North London. Thirty-year-old teacher Poppy (Hawkins) always has a smile on her face, and does her best to brighten the days of those around her by making small talk and cracking jokes. For the past ten years, Poppy has lived with her best friend, Zoe (Alexis Zegerman), a fellow teacher whose wry outlook on life serves as the perfect counterbalance to Poppy's effervescent charm. One day, Poppy decides that it's time to take driving lessons and enrolls in the Axle School of Motoring. Almost instantly, Poppy and her stressed-out instructor, Scott (Eddie Marsan), clash. Still, it seems that there's more to this relationship than surface appearances would suggest. After accompanying her colleague Heather (Sylvestra Le Touzel) to a dance class taught by a particularly passionate instructor (Karina Fernandaz), Poppy connects with kindly school social worker Tim (Samuel Roukin). Of course, Tim can't help but fall for a woman of such boundless compassion, but how will Poppy's increasingly jealous driving instructor react to the news of her most recent romance? more..

Director: Mike Leigh

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Andrea Riseborough, Sinead Matthews, Kate O'Flynn


  • I thought "Topsy-Turvy" was perfection, a spirited evocation of the partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan, plus a blithely definitive depiction of the artistic process. Happy-Go-Lucky is perfection too, assuming you go along with its leisurely pace, which I did quite happily.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    26 April 2013

  • The London universe Leigh creates (employing his trademark improv techniques to unite his ensemble, many of whom make their film debuts) isn't so much a reality as a hope, and an invitation to find joy and grace in everyday moments.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    26 April 2013

  • No list of the year's best performances should be made without her (Sally Hawkins).

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    26 April 2013

  • It is that rare film that is equal parts entertaining, life-affirming and thought-provoking.

    Claudia Puig - USA Today

    26 April 2013

  • Happy-Go-Lucky isn't one of Leigh's epic social canvases like "Secrets & Lies" or even "Topsy-Turvy"; rather, it's an edgy character study whose message only gradually emerges.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    26 April 2013


  • Best Writing, Original Screenplay

    Academy Awards (2009)

  • Best Actress

    Berlin International Film Festival (2008)

  • Best Actress

    Boston Society of Film Critics Awards (2008)

  • Best Supporting Actor

    British Independent Film Awards (2008)

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Central Ohio Film Critics Association (2009)