Poppy’s character is so relentlessly and at times manically “up” — even giggling her way through a physiotherapy session after hurting her back where she is obviously in quite a lot of pain — that while the film has received a lot of critical praise, some viewers have found her almost unbearably grating. Being a Hawkins fan, I wanted to like the film more than I actually did.
On the plus side, Stirling’s experience is dissimilar to the experience of many actresses playing lesbian/bisexual film roles in the rest of the English-speaking world during the same time period.
Because many actresses who have “played gay” since the early 2000s have gone on to have highly successful careers, actresses in 2016 considering playing a gay role have a much more balanced sample pool to judge how the role could ultimately affect their careers (or not) than actresses in the ’90s or early 2000s.
has gotten more than 1.5 million views since it was posted on You Tube Wednesday.
Set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963, the sci-fi fairy tale is scheduled for theatrical release Dec. It stars Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.
Hawkins’ totally understated portrayal of her character’s shame and misery — along with her inability to communicate with anyone about her experience in the England of the 1950s — was probably the most powerful thing in the film for me.
If I’d had a better memory, I might have realized that I’d seen Hawkins in a role even before that: as Diana Lethaby’s feisty maid Zena Blake in the BBC’s 2002 adaptation of , however, that was a supporting part that only gave Hawkins a limited opportunity to show what she could do. In the film, Hawkins plays Pauline “Poppy” Cross, a 30-year-old elementary school teacher living in a shared London house with her best friend, Zoe (Alexis Zegerman).
She prepares her lesson plans and deals with a boy who is bullying other children; she has a night encounter with a homeless man; she develops a romance with a male social worker she met through her teaching work.
Throughout the film, the focus is on Poppy’s joyous character and determination to make the best of things, as contrasted with the sometimes depressed and angry characters around her.
Two days later, they took a taxi to attend Bradley Cooper’s West End production of The Elephant Man.
Susan is raped by a man whom her mother was pushing her toward, and later has to go for an abortion.
As evidence, the weekly provides a grainy photo of the rumored couple in the backseat of a cab and several sources who claim that the duo are indeed dating.