Sunshine on Leith(2013)
When it happens... there's nothing like it.
Based on the hit 'jukebox musical' stage show, Sunshine on Leith tells the feel-good story of two Edinburgh lads returning from service in Afghanistan and adjusting to life in the civilian world. Inspired by, and featuring the songs of, Scottish duo The Proclaimers.... More
The sophomore feature from British actor-turned-director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill) stars Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur) and Jane Horrocks (TV's Absolutely Fabulous). Best friends Davy (George MacKay, How I Live Now) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie, Trash Humpers) return from military service in Afghanistan. Both come back in one piece, though their brush with death only intensifies a desire to live life to the fullest, which for Davy involves falling head-over-heels in love with Yvonne (Antonia Thomas, TV's Misfits), while Ally plans to propose to Davy's sister Liz (Freya Mavor, TV's Skins). Meanwhile, Davy and Liz's folks, Rab (Mullan) and Jean (Horrocks), are set to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. It should be a happy occasion, if only Rab wasn't keeping a troubling secret...Hide
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BY Leonie Hayden Flicks Writer
File Sunshine On Leith under ‘jukebox musical’, where songs from one artist or era are used to tell an unrelated story – like Across The Universe, which used the songs of The Beatles to address the Vietnam War, or Rock of Ages, which used ‘80s hair rock to make us feel sad inside.... More
This is a love letter to Scottish folk duo The Proclaimers (watch out for the cameo), and tells the story of two lads, Davey (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie), returning from military service to their families in Edinburgh. Past the opening number, very little emphasis is placed on their time at war. Instead, love and relationships are the central themes, served up with generous helpings of sentimentality and Gaelic charm.
Like so many “heartwarming” UK dramedies, the songs are used as a kind of nostalgia tear gas to blind you to plot holes with pathos-induced tears. It does feature something very few musicals can boast… a sense of spontaneity. That is to say, the choreography is not up to much and the singing a bit ropey – and mostly done in pubs – which makes it entirely fathomable that a room full of high-spirited Scots could burst into song alongside you if felt a ditty coming on.
Let’s face it, the saddest goth in Sad Town would still probably sing along to ‘I’m On My Way’ if it came on at the pub. I cannae in all honesty say this film completely hits its mark, but it would take a harder heart than mine to resist its charms.Hide