Saturday, March 28, 2009


Finally rented the Happy-Go-Lucky movie, which I'd been curious about since it was a nominee for best picture at the Golden Globes, and since Sally Hawkins won best actress at the Globes for her role as Poppy. Judges got it right - HGL is a small, indie film, no big concepts to propel it to the top (then again, does No Country for Old Men have any big concepts?), but Hawkins certainly gave the slam dunk as Holly Golightly for the 21st century.

There have been plenty of women with goofy, irrepressible characters in modern film, from Golightly to Amelie to Bridget Jones, but Poppy/Sally moves the genre forward by declaring victory over the forces of deliberate negativism. Sure they're all stereotypes, from the driving instructor who's bottled up enough political rage to become a borderline abuser, to the control-freak sociopath pregnant sister who nags constantly about Poppy's plans for baby and marriage, until she's called on it and declares everyone is attacking her. Funny thing about stereotypes, though -- you know someone like this. Poppy twists poison back in their faces, and never lets her sheer joy flag.

My friend Ruth had a blog item about sorrow and natural processes, and I posted a comment saying that "Plan B is to laugh." That is the undercurrent of this movie - sorrow and darkness are real, but laughter is closer to the natural oscillatory patterns of the universe, so it's bound to win in the end.


Delphine said...

Hello from France, this is my first visit to your interesting blog! You know I used to be happy-go-lucky, until I got older then I seemed ( seem) to question everything, to doubt 'truths', and became far more critical and analytical-- but I NEVER forget how to laugh and enjoy myself! I miss going to the pictures here, although I talk french after living here for 20 years, I still prefer my entertainment in my native tongue!!

Loring Wirbel said...

Welcome, Delphine, my first blog follower from France!

Ruth said...

I hadn't heard about this, so thanks! It's added to my queue, just after Slumdog. And thanks for reminding me about No Country, which I haven't seen yet, so that's added too!

I used to be up on all the movies. Am I less interested than before? Obviously I must be. But when I feel like I do now, after reading your review, I wish I weren't!

Thanks also for link!

Ruth said...

Oh, and cool to see Delphine of the chateaux here.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, I was disappointed to see No Country named movie of the year last year, I thought it was full of gratuitous violence and not a good interpretation of Cormac's book. Really looking forward to The Road, though. I thought There Will Be Blood was good for DDL, but not as movie of the year. If I had to name a best movie for 2007, it would probably be Once.

This year (2008), I was rooting for Milk or Benjamin Button (haven't seen Rachel Getting Married. I liked Slumdog Millionaire, but it had too much Bollywood corniness for me to consider it movie of the year.

Ruth said...

Have to see Milk, and yes I've heard that about Slumdog. rauf said Rachel Getting Married is wonderful.

I loved Once too, and I keep listening to "Falling Slowly."

Don said...

i am so not into movies, it drives ruth crazy. However, i must say, she does queue up some fine stuff that i am glad (for the most part) to watch. if not for ruth, i would be such a limited social curmudgeon!

i am looking forward to seeing this film!

Loring Wirbel said...

Don, I like films, but I like music a lot better, and here's what irks me: Some time around the late 1990s, with the rise of home theaters for movies and the rise of Walkman and MP3 player portables for listening to music, most electronics and audio stores stopped promoting audio component stereo for listening. Stereo components were pushed for Dolby compatibility with home stereo. Meanwhile, if you listened to audio, people assumed it was on an iPod or earlier, on a Walkman. I don't like to listen to music casually, I like a sit-down surround experience, and I feel like my style of listening is being prejudiced against by the way audio is marketed these days. I'm pleased to see the return of vinyl LPs, but everything else is very aggravating. And no, I don't have a home theater - I don't even have HDTV yet, how Old School is that?