Sally Hawkins is excellent as a cheerful London primary school teacher in this slice-of-life comedy drama.

Whether or not you’re an admirer of writer-director Mike Leigh’s bruising satires of the British middle classes and nouveau riche, this sweet-natured comedy marks a real change of pace and perspective from the famously acidic film-maker.

Hawkins (nominated for this year’s Best Actress Oscar and Bafta for The Shape of Water) signs up to take driving lessons from a paranoid, bigoted malcontent, brilliantly played by Eddie Marsan, which tests to the limit her breezy character’s inability to look on anything but the sunny side of life.

That might not seem like much of a plot on which to hang a film but, making the most of the lovely script, the stars create believable, flawed human beings whose lives briefly, but memorably, cross.