Synopsis: Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness?
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Mike Leigh
Production: Miramax Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 59 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min

The Road To Reality.

Don't wanna be going there.


An oasis of calm in here, mad out there.

Gorgeous day for it, though, innit?

Never been in here before.

I like your hat.



Having a bad day?


Oh. Not till I showed up, eh?

Look like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

I won't bite.

Don't worry, I'm going now.

Have a good day. Stay happy.

I ain't nicked nothing. Honest, guv'nor.

Beep, beep, beep, beep.

Oh, no, no, come on.

That's just brilliant, that is.

Oh, no, I didn't even get a chance|to say goodbye.

# You'll never get it right|cos when you're laid in bed at night

# Watching...roaches climb the wall

# If you called your dad he could stop it all

# You'll never live like common people

# You'll never do what common people do

# You'll never fail like common people

# You'll never watch your life slide out of view

# And dance and drink and screw

# Because there's nothing else to do

The music's stopped.

It stopped ages ago.

Yeah, I was just enjoying the silence.


What's so funny?

I don't know!

Can you just...

Oh, your sister's woken up, Poppy.

Suzy, what's that?

What is it? Is that your latest conquest?

Oh, bless him!

Don't you ever pray that you're adopted, Suzy?

Oh, argh!


You got me, Zoe.

- Ssssh!|- Who are you shushing?

No, no, no, no, no, no.

She's right. Let's all enjoy the silence together.

Dawn, will you shut up?|Because no-one else can get a word in.



- Sssssh.|- Fingers on lips.

Fingers on the tits.

- Fingers on tits.|- Fingers on the hips.

Can I borrow yours?

- Fingers on the tits.|- Oh, that is properly disgusting.

Chicken fillets. Lunch, anyone?

- Oh, hello!|- Can I have a go?

Of course you can, Dawn, you don't need to ask.

- Anyone over there?|- Oh, I know where that's been.

You have gone down in my estimation.

I'm sorry, Alice.

- I don't get why you wear them, Poppy.|- Oh, don't you?

I mean, you just put them in your bra...


I like the way they make me feel, Suzy.

- Like a natural woman.|- That's right.

- I think it's in the wrong place.|- Ah, whoop!

Oh, look, you've got three tits!

She's like you, Zoe.

- No, that's three nipples.|- Oh, right.

Have you got three nipples?

She doesn't like to talk about it.|I'm going to give her a little hug.

- Over you go.|- Oh, that's quite nice. Do that again.

Oh, really? Oh!


Your cleavage looks great from up here.

- Thank you.|- I've got a bird's eye view.

Come on, ladies, cop a load of this.

Oh, yeah, roll up, roll up.

Look at that!

- It's good, isn't it?|- They're amazing.

Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no.

I think we know where Poppy's sleeping tonight.


Time to get up, sleepyhead.

Cup of tea here.

Come on. You can do it.

That's it. That's it, nearly there.

Oh, here we go.

- And she's up! Hey.|- Thanks.

You all right?

Yeah, I slept good.

I heard you.

You always start that.

- I don't snore.|- I know. You never have.

- I don't.|- I don't.

- Are they still asleep?|- No, they buggered off ages ago.

- Did they?|- Yeah.

Oh, right.

- What's the time?|- About 10 past 12.

- They've got a bit of work to do.|- Have they?

- Dawn's late with her dissertation.|- Oh, no. When are your exams?

- Three weeks tomorrow.|- You'll be all right.

Yeah. I'm totally chilled out about it.

Of course you are.

- I'm cool.|- Yeah.

I'm just really stressed.

What? Like an Eskimo with a headache?

- Does anyone want any toast?|- Yeah.

- Yes, please.|- With marmalade, two slices.

Yeah, I know, cut on the diagonal.

- Yeah.|- No crusts.

- Got it. Oh, do you know what?|- What?

- Oh, yeah.|- She's gone.

The thing is, we're starting with criminal justice.

- Is that your first exam?|- Yeah, it's crap.

If we had cyber crime first,|or, like, crime and pleasure,

I could ease myself into it.

- No probs.|- Oh, you'll be all right, Suzy.

Yeah, if we can get a degree, any idiot can.

- You calling your sister an idiot?|- Calling you an idiot.

Thank you.

"Crime and pleasure", now that sounds good.

- Sounds like last night.|- Yeah.

You'll be all right.


- See you later.|- Alligator.

- When are we going to see Helen?|- Yeah, when's the baby due?

Don't know, soon. She's been texting me.

- Me too, she's getting worse.|- I know, bless her.

- Want to wait till after your exams?|- I want to get it over with.

All right. Don't worry, leave her to me.

- Text me, yeah?|- Work hard.

Suze... you know it's that way, don't you?

Oh, yeah.

- These make good legs?|- Great.

# I'm so excited...

- It would be amazing to fly, wouldn't it?|- You reckon?

Just... whoosh!

- What? Like Mr Vertigo?|- Oh, yeah. I love that book.

- Yeah.|- Oh, vultures.

- Met a few of them.|- These could be useful.

Oh, yeah, they're great.|Oh, look at him, he's gorgeous.

We could do an owl, they've got big heads.

Good idea. He's got your eyes, look.

- Cheers, Poppy.|- No, they're lovely.

Do penguins emigrate?

What? Do they move to the Costa del Sol?

Emigrate, migrate, whatever.

- What about parrots?|- Oh, yeah, definitely.

- Or a toucan. Oh, look at his beak.|- They're good colours.


So, are you going to get another bike?

Oh, no, I couldn't replace my old lovely.|It's flown the nest now.

Definitely going to learn to drive, though.

- Going to book lessons?|- Might do.

Might not.

I told you, you're not learning to drive in my car.

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Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School and further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between theatre work and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include the comedy-dramas Life is Sweet (1990) and Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biographical film Topsy-Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are the black comedy-drama Naked (1993), for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and Palme d'Or-winning drama Secrets & Lies (1996), the Golden Lion winning working-class drama Vera Drake (2004), and the Palme d'Or nominated biopic Mr. Turner (2014). Some of his notable stage plays include Smelling A Rat, It's A Great Big Shame, Greek Tragedy, Goose-Pimples, Ecstasy, and Abigail's Party.Leigh is known for his lengthy rehearsal and improvisation techniques with actors to build characters and narrative for his films. His purpose is to capture reality and present "emotional, subjective, intuitive, instinctive, vulnerable films." His aesthetic has been compared to the sensibility of the Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu. His films and stage plays, according to critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period." Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked—and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years—including Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent." Ian Buruma, writing in The New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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