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‘Happy-Go-Lucky’

Dream scenes: memorable moments from '08

The deceptively simple pic’s climax packs a punch despite its lack of a Hollywood device such as a terminal illness or natural disaster to test the heroine’s strength. Poppy’s (Sally Hawkins) final driving lesson with Scott (Eddie Marsan) throws her into the danger zone, but not how we’ve come to expect, even though she is briefly physically attacked. The sudden spike in dramatic action hinges entirely on the persistence of Poppy’s unique personality and point-of-view, causing even the most cynical and pessimistic of us to rise to her defense, realizing how high the stakes are if that is lost.

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