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H is for Happiness

H is for Happiness (John Sheedy, 2020) wr. Lisa Hoppe, dp Bonnie Elliott; Miriam Margolyes, Richard Roxburgh, Emma Booth, Daisy Axon; family; shot in Albany WA

A twelve year old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world, is inspired by the strange new boy at school and sets out to mend her broken family - whatever it takes.

Dov Kornits, in FilmInk: "Sheedy’s inexperience in cinema (his only effort behind the camera is the 2017 short film Mrs McCutcheon) is evident, making the early scenes especially uncinematic, despite the premise’s potential, the beautiful locations (Albany, WA), cinematography (Bonnie Elliott – Slam, Palm Beach) and production design (Nicki Gardiner). However, the source material, Barry Jonsberg’s book My Life as an Alphabet adapted by Lisa Hoppe, means that the spine is strong enough to sustain your interest, and build your investment in the characters, performed expertly by the cast, including small turns from Deborah Mailman and WA legend George Shevtsov (Love Serenade)."

Sarah Ward, in ScreenDaily: "Thanks to a healthy sense of humour and assisted by a climactic sing-along, Happiness never leans too far from bouncy fun. And while Margolyes is amusingly eccentric in her small but memorable role, Roxburgh and Booth prove suitably affecting, and Mailman is tender as Douglas’ mother, they’re outshone by the animated but never cartoonish Axon and Patten. In a buoyant, thoughtful movie that muses on adolescents doing what adults around them don’t, they lead the charge."

This is a delightful family movie which I hope will be very successful and bring a significant return for the producers.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 February, 2020 | Now: 30 October, 2020