October 23, 2008
If you were to take every film director in the world and do a calculation something like this…
general public awareness
…I think Mike Leigh would end up with the highest score, and it would be something stratospheric, like nine hundred quadrillion. (The unit, of course, is snarkpoints.)
Here’s the new Onion A.V. Club interview. I haven’t seen Happy Go Lucky yet but I have seen Secrets and Lies, Topsy Turvy, Vera Drake, and more, and they’re all sublime. Super-serious and sophisticated, but totally fun and watchable too.
Here’s a taste of Leigh:
AVC: Happy-Go-Lucky also suggests that happiness is as much a matter of perspective as it is things going your way. It’s likely that someone else who haves Poppy’s life would pretty miserable with it.
ML: I don’t agree with that. It’s an unhealthy habit to say that life is what you make of it and if you want to be happy, then you can be happy. That’s just rubbish, basically. Life is about luck and it’s about circumstances and socioeconomic conditions and all the rest of it, but you know you can also make choices and it’s about spirit and generosity and all the other things, too. This film is about somebody who is open and has a capacity not to be judgmental and to empathize and to love.
Leigh gives off the same vibe I always get from Philip Pullman — somehow both large-spirited and tough, verging on ornery. I really like the combo.