The adventures of Poppy. Is she perhaps a little crazy and irresponsible? Or is she in fact deeply sane and sensible? Either way, everybody falls in love with her, for better or for worse…
Mike Leigh’s new film revolves around Poppy, a teacher from north London whose life, at first glance, seems to be full of complications. Leigh remarks, “My films aspire to the condition of documentary. If you’re a newsreel cameraman and you go and shoot a real event, you know that a world exists whether you film it or not. What I want to do is create a world with that kind of solidity to it, something so three-dimensional and solid you could cut it with a knife.” In 1993, Leigh described his attitude towards his protagonists thus: “I don’t make any moral judgments in my films, nor do I make any conclusions. I ask questions, I make the audience feel uncomfortable, give them a guilty conscience, plant bombs, but I don’t supply any answers. I refuse to give any answers, because I don’t know the answers myself.”
One of contemporary Britain’s most renowned directors, Mike Leigh is known for his depictions of the dramas inherent in the everyday lives of regular people. Often compared to compatriot Ken Loach for his emphasis on “slice-of-life” realism (a comparison Leigh has deemed inaccurate, as his films, unlike Loach’s, have no absolute political agenda), Leigh makes films remarkable for their level-headed, unsensational portrayals of topics that would become four-hankie “message” melodramas in the hands of most Hollywood directors.
Born February 20, 1943, in Salford, Manchester, Leigh originally wanted to go into acting. While training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, however, he found himself drawn toward directing and writing, and he eventually transferred to the London Film School. He began his career on the stage, with two of his most important works, The Box Play and Bleak Moments, brought to life through collaborative experimentation during rehearsals. The latter play… read more
Being empathetic can be so hard. But we should always try. Always. This is a masterpiece.
Also: New essays up at the Chiseler; and there’s a new book out, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style.
Each of the Notebook's writers were given the opportunity to submit two lists of their ten favorite films of 2008. One is restricted to films
NYFCC and NSFC award-winning English kitchen-sink director Mike Leigh (“Secrets & Lies” & “Vera Drake”) re-teams with long-time cinematographer Dick Pope (“Vera Drake” & “The Illusionist”… read review
Happy-go-lucky is definitely one of the movies that got stuck in my head for a long time after first seeing it.
It, obviously, confronts two opposite type of people, two opposite worlds – one… read review
Todo el mundo me decía que enfrentarme con Poppy, la protagonista de esta pelicula, iba a ser una de las cosas mas insoportables que me pueda imaginar. Me decían que Poppy era super-recontra-positiva… read review