A friend was surprised that I went to see Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith, the film of the Proclaimers “jukebox musical” developed by Dundee Rep; he said I once again had “confounded his expectations.” I explained I’m in the expectation confounding business…
I knew I’d love this movie from the number of middling reviews there have been in the press. These usually occur when someone has made a film that is fun, funny and bound to be popular and the critics are too scared of being unhip by saying they loved it.
Well, I don’t really know what’s hip and cool any more, but more to the point, I’m way past caring. Sunshine on Leith is a tremendous film; yes, there are a couple of unconvincing plot twists, maybe one of the principals is miscast and sometimes the music loses the simple lines of The Proclaimers’ compositions. But given that by going to see a musical you’ve suspended belief enough to accept that ordinary people will burst into song at any given point to express a point of view, these should not really be any problems.
On the plus side, we have the tremendous George MacKay (seen above,) who I last (and first) saw playing in an entirely different tenor in For Those in Peril, which was also on general release last week; we have Peter Mullan looking unusually comfortable in a role, as well as getting his favourite pub some screen time.
And we also have the best shots of Edinburgh I’ve seen since Women Talking Dirty.
There are loads of laugh-out-loud moments (I did,) and if I’d had a few beers it would have been a blub-fest (I hadn’t and didn’t.)