Dexter Fletcher / UK / 2013 / 100mins
Home is a concept as much as it is a location. It can be the place you grow up, or the people you grow up with. Wherever – or whatever – home is to each of us, it’s a thing that deserves to be recognised. Stephen Greenhorn’s Sunshine on Leith is the story of a typical family (and the individuals who make it up) as they confront the past, the future and the changes that happen in between. It’s a playful homage to Scotland, full of witty observations, set to a soundtrack of The Proclaimers’ greatest hits.
From Let’s Get Married to the eponymous Sunshine on Leith, via Letter from America and I’m On My Way, Greenhorn’s musical is full of feel-good tunes. Davy (George Mackay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie) struggle to find normality after returning from Afghanistan, but soon learn that normality is relative. There’s nothing demanding about this film: it’s easy, comfortable and a guaranteed uplifting experience. The ensemble, including Jane Horrocks and Peter Mullan, deliver energetic performances throughout the ever-twisting plot. Director Dexter Fletcher’s close up shots contrasts the films upbeat tone with the characters’ most personal, poignant revelations. Things happens, people change and life evolves, but home – the place we’d walk 500 miles to get to – really is wherever the heart is.
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