Comedies are usually overlooked by the Academy, oftentimes pushed to the sidelines to give way for weepy dramas Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep specialize in. Casualties last year include Happy-Go-Lucky and In Bruges. In the latter, Colin Farrell delivers the goods, shining in the role of Ray, a hitman wracked with guilt and remorse.
"I killed a little boy!" cries Ray.
"Then try to do something good," replies Ken (Brendan Gleeson), his best pal. "You're not going to bring that boy back, but you might save the next one."
"What am I going to be? A doctor?" answers Ray. "You need exams!"
Sharing Ray's naivete is Poppy (Happy-Go-Lucky), an overly optimistic school teacher. Played with sparkling charm by Sally Hawkins, we see an idealistic person completely impervious to worries, anxiety, and good old depression. She's a dying breed alright, but Sally Hawkin's earnest acting makes me believe that irrepressibly cheerful people do exist.
"You can't make everyone happy, Poppy," says Zoe, her best friend.
"There's no harm in trying, is there?" she replies.
Poppy (Sally Hawkins), the perennially cheerful school teacher