The films of English improv auteur Mike Leigh often have jolly titles (High Hopes, Life Is Sweet) undercut by the antagonisms of the working-class characters he creates. But in Leigh's first film since the '50s abortion drama Vera Drake, the mood is apparently a lot less dour. Sally Hawkins (who in Vera Drake played a rape victim, seeking an abortion) won the Best Actress award at the Berlin Festival for her role as the cockeyed optimist seeking to find the right guy and to dance the flamenco. Vera Drake snagged Oscar nominations for best picture, writing and lead actress. If the ecstatic early word proves true, the same could happen for Happy-Go-Lucky.
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