The Coles made their debut at Cheltenham Spa’s Cineworld complex last evening. The latest Mike Leigh offering, Happy-Go-Lucky, lured us over and I am pleased it did so. I have long been a fan of Leigh’s work, from his early made-for-TV stuff like Abigail’s Party and Nuts In May to his later, mainly fairly bleak, features such as Naked, Vera Drake and Career Girls. Happy-Go-Lucky was, er, happy-go-lucky in comparison but the trademark emphasis on character and insightful glances into ordinary lives were evident. One doesn’t watch this director’s work for gripping and twist-dominated plot-lines. The film focuses on optimistic and overtly cheerful primary school teacher, Poppy, and her interactions with flat-mate, driving instructor (supremely played by Eddie Marsan), colleagues, family and, towards the end of the feature, a new love. The dialogue was sharp, witty and had the adlibbed feel that one associates with Leigh and, apart from one bizarre interlude where the heroine meets and interacts with a tramp late one night, the gentle but compelling plot proved fascinating.
Well, I fully expected the famed