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The World According to Mike Leigh24:13
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Director Mike Leigh at the premiere of "Happy-Go-Lucky" outside the Glasgow Film Theatre in April 2008. (Photo: Stuart Crawford)
Director Mike Leigh at the premiere of "Happy-Go-Lucky" outside the Glasgow Film Theatre in April 2008. (Photo: Stuart Crawford)

His films are gritty and urban. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, always looking to portray everyday people at work and at home in the drama of something like real life. From a 1950s housewife who doubles as an abortionist in “Vera Drake,” to a young black woman who seeks out her white birth mother in “Secrets & Lies,” Mike Leigh’s films make you think.

This time out, he's making us think about smiling, laughing compassion as a principled stand. This hour, we talk with director Mike Leigh about his far-from-Hollywood life in film, and his latest release, “Happy-Go-Lucky.”

You can join the conversation. What Mike Leigh movies have spoken to you? “Naked” … “Life Is Sweet” … “Vera Drake”? How about his upbeat new film “Happy-Go-Lucky?” Share your thoughts.Guest:

Mike Leigh, joins us from London. He’s been making movies for 35 years and has been nominated for five Oscars. He won the Best Director award at Cannes for his 1993 film, “Naked.” The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday calls the heroine of his new film, "Happy-Go-Lucky," "this year's most unforgettable and even revolutionary screen protagonist.... at a time when — in Hollywood, at least — violence, bleakness and pessimism are continually confused with moral seriousness."

The official "Happy-Go-Lucky" website is suitably upbeat and there's even a "daily dose of happiness" widget which you can watch here:


This program aired on November 3, 2008.

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