Sunshine on Leith is based on the sensational stage hit of the same name, featuring music by pop-folk band The Proclaimers. The film follows the stories of Davy and Ally, who have to re-learn how to live life in Edinburgh after coming home from serving in Afghanistan. Both struggle to learn to live a life outside the army and to deal with the everyday struggles of family, jobs and relationships.Written by
Clothes shopping, Jane Horrocks holds up a black dress on a coat hanger with a name clearly visible on it. She then holds it up to a mirror and it is on a plain black coat hanger. See more »
The initial credits show the main characters in short outtakes from the film. The order is Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, George Mackay, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor, Kevin Guthrie, Jason Flemyng, Paul Brannigan, Sara Vickers, Michael Beat (as Michael 'Cuban' Keat) and John Spence (as 'Wee' John Spence'). This is followed by a listing of the major crew (director, etc,) on a background of the city of Leith in sunshine. Then the credits revert to the traditional scrolling form, starting with the cast listed in order of appearance. See more »
Sunshine on Leith is an enjoyable, exuberant film musical that is based on the songs of The Proclaimers. It tells the story of two young Scottish soldiers who return to their families in Edinburgh after serving in Afghanistan. What awaits each of them is an unsettled future during which they are forced to confront a number of issues that make it difficult to rehabilitate themselves successfully into civilian life: the need to secure employment (they find temporary work in a call centre); feelings of guilt at returning home in good physical shape when a friend of theirs who served with them sustained severe injuries and is having to contend with the loss of both legs; trying to rekindle their neglected love lives; having to cope with the revelation of family secrets that in the case of one of the ex-soldiers puts pressure on his parents' marriage; and the problems of simply being welcomed and accepted by friends and family after a long absence. None of these issues is dealt with in anything other than a superficial and sentimental manner. But that does not really matter all that much.
The cast, which includes Jane Horrocks and Peter Mullan, is very good. The cinematography is first rate (Edinburgh looks stunning), as are the staging of the set-piece routines and the choreography. And we even get a brief, Hitchcock-like cameo appearance by The Proclaimers themselves, who are seen near the start of the film emerging from an Edinburgh pub. The music is uneven. Two of the most notable Proclaimers numbers - "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and "Letter from America" - are delivered in a much more muted and less punchy style than their original versions, which somehow seems unsatisfactory. From my personal perspective, there is also one underlying problem with Sunshine on Leith, that is incapable of resolution. I do not think that film is the right medium for musicals. I often enjoy musical shows that are performed in the theatre. But I simply cannot come to terms with them in the cinema. The transition from spoken dialogue to singing seems to me to be unnatural and mildly clumsy on celluloid in a way that does not appear to be the case on stage. (I feel the same about opera!) That problem aside, Sunshine on Leith is an engaging film, albeit one that is unlikely to live long in the memory. 6/10.
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