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VenueWalter Reade Theater
You’ve never met a woman in bloom quite as fresh as Poppy Cross, the radiant North Londoner whose unwaveringly upbeat embrace of life is reflected in the title of Leigh’s irresistible 2008 character study. Played with star-making sparkle by Leigh stock-company player Sally Hawkins (whose performance earned her the Best Actress Silver Bear at the 2008 Berlinale), Poppy is a single, 30-year-old elementary school teacher whose relentless optimism is not always welcome. She has to deal with a child being bullied, and she’s unnerved while taking driving lessons from a bitter, racist, and damaged instructor (a wonderful Eddie Marsan), as antisocial as Poppy is trusting and open. Happy-Go-Lucky revealed the British master of ensemble dysfunction in a rich, new creative phase, where delight and gratitude are emotions to inspire, rather than to doubt. An NYFF46 selection.