Tag Archives: Hackney

Mountgrove Road: A Vintage Sally Hawkins Lived Here

23 Jan

From one Islington boundary to another and yet again it is with our Hackney neighbours that we are getting cosy. No surprise here when this week’s film was mainly shot in North London between Camden, Hackney, Islington as well as Southwark.

In Mike Leigh’s sparkling comedy Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is a cheerful and cheeky primary-school teacher whose happiness and exuberance irritate in no small measure her bitter driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan). Screenwriter and director Mike Leigh and his actors went on to collect countless awards and nominations for their work.

Once again ladies and gentlemen, we can proudly say that the main character of a movie ‘Lived in Islington’.

Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 01

Or can we? Did she really?

Poppy’s house is on the corner of Finsbury Park Road (Hackney) and Mountgrove Road (Islington). Technically speaking the house’s door is the last one on Finsbury Park Road but the living room and its 3 windows overlook Mountgrove Road!

Since Poppy is taking driving lessons and getting in and out of the flat, you can spot it, the street and the area many times throughout the film. In fact, this is likely to be a familiar corner to many Islington residents. What in the film is an empty orange corner shop ‘To Let’ has since Happy-Go-Lucky become the popular Cafe Vintage.

 Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 03

Happy Go Lucky - House - MRX o

On another occasion, when returning from a day out to visit her pregnant sister, Poppy and her flatmate Zoe (Alexis Zegerman) can be seen driving down Canning Road, at the corner of which Scott is standing, looking at their flat. When Poppy spots him, he shoots off, up Canning road.

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - MRX 01

At her next driving lesson, Poppy confronts Scott. While walking towards the car parked on Mountgrove Road you can recognise the blue front shop of Bennet & Brown, the peculiar grey double-doors next to it and the small food market store.

Mountgrove Road - Bennet & Brown FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Mountgrove Road - MRX

Once in the car, they turn left onto Wilberforce Road, back to Hackney. Where will we next spot our heroes? Yet again another movie we’ll be coming back to.

For now, and since you have made it that far, you may as well want to reward yourself with one of Cafe Vintage’s yummy treats!

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Mountgrove Road N5 2LT

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Finsbury Park Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Blackstock Road and Clissold Park

 

Related Happy-Go-Lucky posts

On Holloway Road, Mind the Driving Instructor 

At Highbury Corner, Keep Your Lane!

 

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

 

 

Westland Place: Julia Roberts’ Studio!

16 Jan

One of the funniest aspects of Lights, Camera…Islington! and one of the main reasons I started it, is the time spent walking around the borough discovering areas, streets and corners I did not know before, including its boundaries. Last week we stopped by Farringdon Station and were therefore within yards of Camden. Today, we stay in the southern part of Islington but head off to City Road, an area we have not yet covered.

The reason I mention Islington boundaries here is that when I was strolling along City Road towards Old Street, as I was getting closer to our destination, I realised that at some point, on one side of City Road I was in Islington, on the other Hackney… Damned! Yep, you’ve guessed it. Our film location was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Dilemma. What should I do?

In the end, I opted to take the picture. I mean Come on !!! Five steps before I was in Islington. Worry not dear reader, Islington has film locations galore and I will not make a habit of trespassing our boundaries to travel all over London. I may on  similar occasions to this one do so when the location is within yards of the borough, and when other scenes of the same movie were shot in the borough. This point clarified, let’s reveal our Islington Film Location of the Week!

Closer (2004), is Mike Nichols’ adaptation to the big screen of Patrick Marber’s award winning play. This drama with a stellar cast that included Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Jude Law, tells the story of 2 couples whose relationships become, well, slightly complicated shall we say.

Early on in the movie, Dan (Jude Law) gets his picture taken by Anna (Julia Roberts) for his book. Dan’s girlfriend Alice (Natalie Portman), comes to meet him at the end of the session. It is when Dan steps outside to greet Alice that we can spot that Anna’s studio is in Westland Place, off City Road, in what used to be John Redman ltd & British Empire Pipe Company.

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 01

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 02

If you go there today, I am pleased to say that you will still be able to find studios. However, I am equally sad to report that, after months of keeping an eye on the door in thunder, lightning or in rain, no signs of Julia. Bet she’s moved to Islington! 

Closer - Ana's Studio - MRX

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Westland Place N1 7LP

Old Street Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to City Road and Old Street

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