Sunshine on Leith

By April 3, 20152015 FilmFest

April 19, 2015 6:45pm

SilverCity Theatre B

United Kingdom

Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Peter Mullan, Antonia Thomas, Jason Flemyng
Runtime: 100 minutes
Language: English
Rating: PG

Richard Attenborough Film Awards: British Breakthrough Award

“…the best jukebox musical to come around in ages…” –David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

“It will be a cold heart that can’t warm to this sunshine.”–Angela Britten, Sky Movies

What would happen if Ken Loach Leigh made a musical? Cast a bunch of hardscrabble Brits in a family drama, add a bit of grit and friction, and set it all within the context of a jukebox musical?

Sunshine on Leith manages to merge the British cinematic tradition of bleak reality within the context of a warm musical. The soundtrack uses the Proclaimers, their tunes a perfect mix of the melancholic and the hopeful, helping shape this charming film.

The film stars Peter Mullan, his craggy voice and expressive eyes perfect for his role. Jane Horrocks, (Little Voice, 1998 Northwest Film Fest), provides the right amount of pathos in her role. The rest of the cast helps out immensely, with the lovely Antonia Thomas providing the most rich vocal performance of the lot.

The tunes themselves are as infectious as always, with the international hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” wisely set as the finale.

Things play out in exactly the way you expect them to, but both the setting and the storyline seem to earn their moments of eventual elation, and the songs are sung with conviction. A crowd-pleaser all the way.