Sunday, 30 September 2012

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2008: Eddie Marsan in Happy-Go-Lucky

Eddie Marsan did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Scott in Happy-Go-Lucky.

Happy-Go-Lucky is about a persistently happy and optimistic woman Poppy (Sally Hawkins) who goes about doing various things in her life. Happy-Go-Lucky is very much basically the same type of film as Mike Leigh other film Naked in that they both follow their very particular protagonist in various events that are not necessarily connected. The difference is that is far far far lighter tone than Naked, which largely comes in the that Poppy is constantly positive opposed the constantly negative Johnny in Naked. I must say though that Naked is the superior film as the other characters, and events in Johnny's life just tend to be far more interesting. Only really one group of scenes worked as well as I would have liked.

Luckily the scenes that do work involve Eddie Marsan as Poppy's driving instructor. Scott is as angry as Poppy is happy. Marsan portrays Scott as always being at least a little angry, and really there are only different levels of anger he can be at. Marsan is quite effective in portraying the anger that is always bubbling underneath, in that Marsan's head always seems ready to explode. Marsan portrays it as something always beating down in Scott, and every line he delivers has a certain degree of brashness to it, even when he is just trying to teach. Marsan portrays that even when calm Scott is still slightly irritated and annoyed in some way. Marsan makes that it is not that Scott is just mad at the moment, but clearly that his anger issues have a long a history.

Important to these scenes though are of course Scott's reactions with Poppy as she stays constatnly playful and upbeat even though it continually ticks him off. Marsan and Hawkins have a terrific chemistry actually in that they are steadfast in their characters almost the entire time. Hawkins always stays upbeat in the scenes, always being playing with Scott and laughing her way through, as Marsan is persistent in Scott's never ending anger and the ease in which he gets mad from just the slightest thing Poppy says. Very importantly Marsan makes it clear that Scott's anger is really something he suffers from really, as he seems almost in some sort constant pain along with his anger, and really his anger is so severe he barely can even understand the fact that Poppy is having some fun with him.

The extreme dynamic between Hawkins and Marsan works well making there scenes consistently enjoyable. They are fairly consistent in these entertaining scenes until their final one together where Scott's anger finally get the better of him. Marsan is properly intense here as the always angry man gets to the point of being violently so. Marsan is strong here becuase he does not show that this is going anywhere else for Scott this is just allowing his emotional state to devolve to its purest form. Marsan is appropriately raw here as Scott just breaks down emotionally as he portrays all of Scott's hate in his life, as well as his sadness at once. Marsan is great in this scene and nails it showing just how troubled of a man Scott really is. This is a good supporting performance through the film, and even helps Hawkins's performance come alive more in their scenes through the startling differences of their characters.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this, but I'm curious. What did you think of Hawkins overall?

RatedRStar said...

EN RAH HA =) lol

mrripley said...

I think he would have been a much worthier nominee.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous: I thought she was quite good.