‘Poppy’ inspires young movie-goers

July 20, 2021

'Poppy' – starring Libby Hunsdale and Ari Boyland 
Writer and director – Linda Niccol


'Poppy' reached the big screen in May and struck a chord with young women refusing to be defined by their disabilities. Ella Davenport from Lower Hutt and Ava Saba from Gladstone reviewed the movie. 


By Ella Davenport (with some help from mum) 

I went to see the movie 'Poppy' with my mum. It’s a story about Poppy’s life. She lives with her older brother and she pretty much takes care of the house. 

Her dream is to do a mechanic apprenticeship and get her driver’s licence. But her brother thinks it is all too hard for Poppy and doesn’t really help her. He loves her though and is very protective of her, especially when she meets a boy she really likes, and he tries to stop them dating. 

But Poppy is determined to go after what she wants. She wants to live her best life and by the end of the movie she sure is. She has an apprenticeship, a flat, a boyfriend and her driver’s licence. She’s also amazing at doing burnouts in her boyfriend’s car and I cheered her on from my movie seat. She even finds her brother a girlfriend. 

Poppy is proof that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back or stop you from chasing your dreams. When I think of Poppy, this is how I would describe her: independent, smart, funny, caring, feisty (very). But the one word that sums her up for me is awesome. 

Poppy inspires me to want to live my best life too. Thank you Poppy. 

Ella, 20, goes to Hutt Valley High School and has a couple of work experience jobs, at a charity shop in Petone and a café in Lower Hutt. She has been dating her boyfriend, Nicholas, for a few years. He has Down syndrome too. Ella was the winner of the Wellington Down Syndrome Association’s Frances Clarke Memorial Award in 2015. 


By Ava Saba 

I saw 'Poppy' with my mom, Hutch (stepdad), Zack, Finn (brothers) and Romy and Lorena (brothers’ girlfriends). It was a special fundraising show for Wairarapa Riding for the Disabled. I used to ride there when I was little on Tara the brown horse. 

I thought the movie 'Poppy' was nice and romantic. It made me cry once. It was a happy/sad cry. It was when she was in love with the nice boy. 

Poppy is cool because she drove a car and did wheelies. I want to drive a car one day, when I am a grown up. Poppy is beautiful and I got to meet her. Her real name is Libby. She was so nice. I want to do acting in a movie like her one day. I also want a nice boyfriend one day too. 

I am going to see it again with my friend Sophie. 'Poppy' made me feel happy. 

Ava, 15, lives in Gladstone, Wairarapa, with her mum and step-dad. She has two older brothers. Ava goes to Wairarapa College and is in the swim team and plays netball. She loves dancing, performing arts, swimming and hanging out with her friends. She is the current recipient of the Frances Clarke Memorial Award for her achievements in performing arts. 


Caption 1: Hutt Valley High students Ella Davenport and Nicholas Baldwin are pushing the boundaries. 

Caption 2: Ava Saba hopes to one day be an actor like 'Poppy' star Libby Hunsdale.