Happy Go Lucky


(Mike Leigh, 2008).
Even more than most of Mike Leigh’s collectively developed films, Happy-Go-Lucky is a movie about an actor’s performance. Sally Hawkins shoulders the burden of every scene as the most relentlessly upbeat 30-year-old kindergarten teacher ever to bicycle London’s chartered streets. Heroic optimism is a surprising ploy in the post-Soviet cosmos and the blithe spirit who animates Happy-Go-Lucky is either irritating or endearing—whichever you find her, you have to wonder why.

Mon., Aug. 17, 7 p.m., 2009