A: A few weeks in the life of Poppy (Sally Hawkins), a grade school teacher who can find the humor in just about anything, including having her bike stolen, a flamenco teacher on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and a driving instructor who hates just about anything that is set in his path.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin, Karina Fernandez, Sinead Matthews, Kate O'Flynn, Caroline Martin, Oliver Maltman, Jack MacGeachin
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. A lot of memorable scenes and interesting characters populate this movie, which hasn't much more direction than a slice of your own life.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: The laughs are very British, but there's plenty of them.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: If you're the type of person who gets irritated at people who are always in a good mood, it could stir up some negative feelings in you. Some might call it annoyance, some might call it resentment, I call it jealousy.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: Following her Best Actress Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, Sally Hawkins will most likely be considered for both the Oscar and the BAFTA. It's also worth mentioning that the film itself has earned Mike Leigh an Award in Norway which has the cutest name I've ever heard: "Most Enjoyable Film-- Bringer of Joy Award." I'm not making that up.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Delightful. Sally Hawkins is mesmerizing in all her optimism, as she laughs her way through life, making adorable little happy sounds at everything the world has to offer. On the other extreme, Eddie Marsan is perfect as her bitter and angry driving instructor whose every emotion is expressed by yelling. And Karina Fernandez, in a small role, as the Spanish flamenco teacher, delivers several hilarious monologues that acting students looking for original material should probably steal to perform for their classes.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: If you happen to be a Mike Leigh fan, you may be disappointed that this film veers so severely away from his usually morbidly depressing type characters and themes, and instead examines how easy it can be to maintain an upbeat attitude in the face of all that is wrong with people and the world.
Technically, he doesn't let the fact that this is a small film stop him from going out of his way to add artistry to his shots. In particular you may notice his masterful use of foreground extras to add depth, as well as several shots taken from a bird's eye view, that could be framed and shown in a photography gallery.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: Very European. The individual scenes are often dramatic, real, and very well played, but neither the main character nor the storyline seem to have any goals, so you're not sure what you're watching for. On a more specific note, there's one scene that literally comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere, as Poppy approaches a homeless man for no apparent reason, and even after he proves to be potentially violent, she sticks around to have what is certainly an interesting and cleverly written conversation, but is in no way believable, necessary, or sane.
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