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Narrative Feature  





Directed by
Mike Leigh
UK / 2008 / 118 minutes

Opening Night in Rhinebeck

Preceded by INTERCOM

Screening Times and Venues:
Upstate Films I
10/02/2008, 7:30PM
Just how hard is it to be happy? In the effervescent new comedy from director Mike Leigh ("Vera Drake," "Secrets & Lies"), Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters, offering us a touching, truthful and deeply life-affirming exploration of one of the most mysterious and often the most elusive of all human qualities: happiness. Poppy's ability to maintain her perspective is tested as the story begins and her commuter bike is stolen. However, she enthusiastically signs up for driving lessons with Scott (Eddie Marsan), who turns out to be her nemesis - a fuming, uptight cynic. As the tension of their weekly lessons builds, Poppy encounters even more challenges to her positive state of mind: a fiery flamenco instructor, her bitter pregnant sister, a troubled homeless man and a young bully in her class, not to mention that she has also thrown out her back. How this affects not only Poppy's world view but also the outlook of those around her begs the question "glass half full or half empty?"
Writer-director Mike Leigh was born in 1923 in Sanford, Lancashire. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, at Camberwell and Central Art Schools in London, and at the London Film School, of which he has been a chairman of the Governors since 2000. His first feature film was "Bleak Moments;" this was followed by the full-length television film, "Hard Labour," "Nuts in May," "The Kiss of Death," "Who's Who," "Grown-Ups," "Home Sweet Home," "Meantime," and "Four Days in July," which was shot entirely on location in Belfast. His later feature films are "High Hopes," "Life is Sweet," "Naked," "Secrets and Lies," "Career Girls," "Topsy-Turvy," "All or Nothing," "Vera Drake" and most recently "Happy-Go-Lucky."
Cast/Featuring: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman
Executive Producer(s): Gail Egan, David Garrett, Tessa Ross
Producer(s): Simon Channing-Williams
Director(s): Mike Leigh
Screenwriter(s): Michael Leigh
Cinematographer(s): Dick Pope, BSC
Editor(s): Jim Clark
Composer(s)/Music: Gary Yershon
Sound Editor(s): Nigel Stone, Alastair Sirkett
Miramax Films  

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