SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE REVIEW

The first time I saw the trailer for SUNSHINE ON LEITH I was excited. It just looked like happiness and, to be honest, a little ray of film sunshine. And it had that dude (George MacKay) from HOW I LIVE NOW and then that older dude (Peter Mullan) from a crap load of English shows who was also a Death Eater in Harry Potter and it had singing and some odd dancing and smiling and laughter and, as I said, HAPPINESS. I attended the screening, cried too many tears of elation and pretty much bounced home to the central coast on a rainbow of joy singing Proclaimers songs :). THIS FILM IS AWESOME! Put it this way – I have already bought it on Blu Ray from the UK.

 

SUNSHINE ON LEITH POSTER IMAGE
SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

If you love your action films or your violence films or an incredibly serious film that will star Daniel Day Lewis and win 2398451 oscars then this could possibly be for you, but more than likely, not for you. It is a musical, and possibly the happiest musical I have ever seen. My first words after it were, “this should be made into a musical stage show,” like derr, just found out the movie is based on the stage musical, a musical that deserves a world tour. It is just brilliant. If you love your Glee, if you love an eventually blissfully happy film, if you love spectacular singing mixed with superb acting and performing then this is for you. And then prepare for your mind to be blown, the entire thing is based on music and the album SUNSHINE ON LEITH by THE PROCLAIMERS.

SUNSHINE ON LEITH is actually the name of the second album, and most popular album, from THE PROCLAIMERS. They were a bit dorky, twin brothers from the town of Leith, in Edinburgh, and this is where our film takes place. They sing that song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – trust me – you loved it briefly at the time :). And they appear in a cameo in the film in the first 10mins – if you blink you will miss it.

 

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SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | DAVY (GEORGE MACKAY) AND ALLY (KEVIN GUTHRIE)

 

The film starts all about Davy and Ally, who have returned from Afghanistan to Edinburgh after recovering from a disaster. Their dilemma is they have to reintegrate back into homelife. Ally goes out with Davy’s sister and this is momentous for him as he wants his entire life with her. Davy’s sister sets Davy up with her work colleague, Yvonne, and these guys start a blossoming relationship and at the same time Davy and Liz’s parents confront some issues of their own on their 50th wedding anniversary. It is about love, family, life and happiness, and while it may sound slightly melodramatic, it is, and I see nothing wrong with this. It borders towards Glee occasionally, again, I see nothing wrong with this. It is just so adorable you can’t not like it and smile.

The musical scenes are just wonderfully executed with my favourite being in the pub with the two boys and then the ending number which literally made me want to leap out of my seat and dance with the other boring film critics in the cinema with me haha.

I am going to acquire the soundtrack for this because, you would never actually believe it, but the music of The Proclaimers is better in this film than it ever was back in the day. And the truly wonderful thing, all the actors do all their own singing and performing. Their Saturday night at the pub would be my ideal night out, ending in a musical number!!

 

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SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE END NUMBER

 

The acting is superb, MacKay opens up in this and shows more range than he did in HOW I LIVE NOW and is a definite leading kid turning into a man, Guthrie, Mavor and Thomas also round out the great awesome foursome splendidly. Jason Flemyng could have been in it more but I loved his character and while Peter Mullan will not win awards for his singing it was admirable and his croaky voice was quite catching. Surprisingly for me though, the hands down winning character and actor was Jane Horrocks – she plays Davy and Liz’s mum and Rab (Mullans’s) wife. Her stage background just tore out of the screen and just owned the auditorium. You may remember her as “Bubble” from Ab Fab. She is just amazing.

 

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SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | Jane Horrocks (Jean) & Peter Mullan (Rab)

 

Now there was one thing that lost points for this film. It is not MacKay’s fault and I truly feel sorry for him. It is what the makers did with it that annoyed the crap out of me. During the filming you can tell MacKay is going through some hardcore boy to man end of puberty crazy growing and the poor guy is dealing with some rampant facial acne. It is bad and there was nothing they could do about it, makeup would have made it worse – so what have they done – placed blurring over his cheeks for close ups – it is appalling and drew more attention from me than if he we just dealt with his acne. Most of us experienced it, it is part of life. But I think what bothered the makers was the pimple continuity (never thought I would discuss this in a review) but as the film was probably not shot in sequence the pimples would be different from scene to scene. So blur it – but they did not do a good job of it.

And while this was only an aesthetic annoyance it failed to ruin the film for me. My parents will be watching this at my place in a couple of weeks, The Proclaimers will be hitting up my iPod soon and I urge you to go and see this. It will make you smile. And the best thing, take your parents, your kids, your grandparents, they will all have a great time. And don’t rely solely on my ravefest of love for it – this film is rated at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes – only 2 critics out of 33 did not like it and 94% is higher than the score on The Grand Budapest Hotel – so trust me – it is freaking awesome 🙂

 

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SUNSHINE ON LEITH | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | DAVY (GEORGE MACKAY) AND YVONNE (ANTONIO THOMAS)

 

And now, EVERYONE………..

I’m on my way from misery to happiness today 

I’m on my way from misery to happiness today 
I’m on my way to what I want from this world 
And years from now you’ll make it to the next world 
And everything that you receive up yonder 
Is what you gave to me the day I wandered 

I took a right, I took a right turning yesterday 
I took a right, I took a right turning yesterday 
I took the road that brought me to your home town 
I took the bus to streets that I could walk down 
I walked the streets to find the one I’d looked for 
I climbed the stair that led me to your front door 

And now that I don’t want for anything 
I’d have Al Jolson sing I’m sitting on top of the world 

I’ll do my best, I’ll do my best to do the best I can 
I’ll do my best, I’ll do my best to do the best I can 
To keep my feet from jumping from the ground dear 
To keep my heart from jumping through my mouth dear 
To keep the past, the past and not the present 
To try and learn when you teach me a lesson 

And now that I don’t want for anything 
I’d have Al Jolson sing I’m sitting on top of the world

I’m on my way from misery to happiness today 
I’m on my way from misery to happiness today 
I’m on my way to what I want from this world 
And years from now you’ll make it to the next world 
And everything that you receive up yonder 
Is what you gave to me the day I wandered 

I’m on my way to what I want from this world 
And years from now you’ll make it to the next world 
And everything that you receive up yonder 
Is what you gave to me the day I wandered 

I’m on my way
I’m on my way
I’m on my way
I’m on my way
I’m on my way
I’m on my way
I’m on my way

 

4 and a Half Pops