I have a theory that whether you find Poppy in Happy-Go-Lucky utterly annoying or a joy and an inspiration offers an interesting insight to your personality. I once declared in a fit of hyperbole that anyone who didn't love Happy-Go-Lucky or The Brothers Bloom was not anyone I wanted to associate with. I might have also insinuated such people didn't have a soul. And while those statements were rather hasty, I stand by my theory about Poppy, played by Sally Hawkins Maybe you sympathize with Eddie Marsan's angry and needy driving instructor character and think she should have done more to help him. Maybe you think Poppy is another insipid incarnation of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Or maybe you just like structured plots. Me, I was totally happy to trip along with Poppy on her adventures, no matter how nonsensical or ill-advised.
What first hooked me -- and hooked me hard -- was the trailer and its brightly colored chaos. Poppy's class of students dressed as wild whooping chickens, her bizarre flamenco class, and her fabulous trampoline jumping made me so damn happy. In fact, the shot of her bouncing slowly in and out of the frame is one of my favorites from the entire movie. Best of all was the song by Kate Nash, "Merry Happy," which introduced me to the poppy goodness of Ms. Nash and her own brand of happy-go-lucky. (What can I say? I'm not hip to what the kids are listening to these days.)
What never ceases to amaze me is Mike Leigh's connection with his actors and how he and Sally Hawkins came together to create Poppy. Another source of amazement is that Hawkins wasn't nominated for an Oscar for her role, but alas and alack.
Check out the official website for other video featurettes and the cutest damn trampoline-hopping stick figure I've ever seen.
So what do you think? Are you pro-Poppy or not?