Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 13 of ‘13: 12. Sunshine on Leith

Aka the Proclaimers musical. Director Dexter Fletcher (who has a hilarious cameo as “bloke walking out of pub”) takes the songs of the Scottish pop duo (who have a cameo as “blokes walking out of pub;” there a lots of blokes walking out of pubs in this movie) and brings us jukebox-musical Sunshine on Leith, the cinematic equivalent of a big bowl of candy covered in cheese.
Centred around three love stories, the plot contains probably every existing romance cliché (some of them more than once). Furthermore, the way the plot is constructed to accommodate the songs is clunky to say the least. Thus, naturally one character will have to go to the United States in order to be able to send a Letter From America. None of this matters however, because the film has so much heart and charm that you can’t help but be won over and moved by it. Scottish accents, pubs, Peter Mullan channelling Tom Waits, Jason Flemyng dancing and a spectacular flash-mob finale; the film holds many pleasures, covering the entire emotional spectrum.
Sunshine on Leith will make you cry from sadness and from joy within twenty minutes. Held together by six excellent acting and singing performances and very skilfully directed by Dexter Fletcher on only his second film as a director, the movie is a big triumph. Unless you hate Scotland and/or the Proclaimers (in which case you may want to skip this one), you will walk out of a cinema with a smile stretching all the way to Leith, humming 500 Miles and Over and Done With for days.

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