Mike Leigh is the master of improvisation and the master of breaking Sally Hawkins out of her shell. You would never guess that in this film. Sally's character Poppy is always smiling, always optimistic, and always giggling (much to the annoyance of pessimists around her). In interviews, Sally is incredibly shy and awkward. This film marks as a reminder of Sally's status as one of the best actors of our generation.
It's another one of those deals where the movie expends half of its runtime before getting to its conflict. But once it does, the movie is really engaging for the very real challenges it puts to the limits of Poppy's control. Poppy, far from feeling twee or manic pixie, feels emotionally real, relatable, and ultimately winds up sobered by the world around her.
A pesar de la notable interpretación de Sally Hawkins, el personaje de Poppy se hace insoportable por su optimismo inquebrantable. Algunas escenas resultan perfectamente prescindibles (el encuentro azaroso con un vagabundo o la visita a la hermana embarazada) Lo mejor de la película es la relación de la protagonista con el instructor de manejo, desempeñado magistralmente por Eddie Marsan.
There's not really a plot to talk about. The main focus seems to be with Poppy and here driving instructor being a clean cut example of an optimist and pessimist at both ends of the spectrum and also the films most memorable and well acted moments. Aside from that the film doesn't really offer much else, we follow Poppy about with her family and work life with an ever present up beat look on life and that's it.
The cynicism of the comments here are disheartening: "narcissist," "embodiment of liberal convictions," "oblivious"—which is a sad commentary on our arrogant assumptions about freedom. Despite unanswered questions and reckless daring, Poppy is, without doubt, a hero: a warrior angel with her feet on the ground, an undiluted force of nature, her transcendent heart shooting across the sky.
Maybe it isn't intended so but I cannot stop thinking that Poppy is the embodiment of our liberal convictions and the movie is a bitter critique of it. She never intervenes, never confronts with others. She takes people light, handles them well let them be as they are at a distance; she has her secure base to retreat. But when somebody without a base demands to be taken seriously, she can be brutally ignorant.
Two bits regarding the characters struck me. I couldnt stop thinking what was psychologically wrong with Poppy. Was she an idiot? Narcissistic? Oblivious? I enjoyed trying to figure out what was wrong with her, and liked not having a clear answer. The second character that got me was the driving instructor. He seemed like the voice of reason who would guide me through the film. Then he has a brilliant breakdown!