Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies) directs this atypical ensemble film. Still concerned with the day-to-day, kitchen sink affairs of average Britons, this more lighthearted character study manages to concentrate on one gal, the inimitable Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins). Poppy's a cheerful, North London elementary school teacher whose bright optimism tends to exasperate those around her. As always, Leigh elicits perfect semi-improvisational work from his actors, mixing subtle drama and realistic comedy. 118 minutes R.