Dispatches From The New York Film Festival: Happy-Go-Lucky

The 46th New York Film Festival officially opens tonight with The Class (reviewed this week by Andrew Sarris), but soggy members of the press and industry showed up this morning for a screening of Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky. The film is all about a thirty-year-old woman named Poppy, an irrepressible schoolteacher in the north of London who is (almost crazily) optimistic and upbeat even when facing down the unhappy people who cross her path…or steal her bicycle, or borderline stalk her. Sally Hawkins stars and owns this one. The actress, previously seen in Mr. Leigh’s Vera Drake, will surely be one to watch during award season — she’s already won the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival.