Yvonne (Antonia Thomas) gets a lift from Davy (George MacKay) in Sunshine on Leith.

Yvonne (Antonia Thomas) gets a lift from Davy (George MacKay) in Sunshine on Leith.

Sunshine on Leith goes from misery to happiness

The Vernon Film Society screens Scottish musical-film Sunshine on Leith, featuring songs by The Proclaimers, Monday, Feb. 2.

The Vernon Film Society presents Sunshine on Leith, a good-natured movie-musical featuring the music of The Proclaimers and based on the Dundee Repertory Theatre’s hit stage show.

George MacKay and Kevin Guthrie are Davy and Ally, a couple of soldiers back from a tour of Afghanistan, set on returning to civilian life for good. They are thrilled to be once again walking the streets of their hometown, Edinburgh.

Ally wants to renew his relationship with Davy’s sister Liz (Freya Mavor), whose friend  Yvonne (Antonia Thomas) may well be attracted to Davy. But the real emotional crisis comes with the silver wedding party for Davy and Liz’s troubled parents: Jean and Rab (Jane Horrocks of Ab Fab, Little Voice and Peter Mullan of Harry Potter fame).

Mullan is perfect for the role with his craggy voice and expressive eyes, while Horrocks provides the right amount of pathos in her role.

The rest of the cast have decent voices, with Antonia Thomas providing the best vocal performance of all. The tunes themselves are as infectious as always, with The Proclaimers’ international hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) wisely set as the finale.

Director Dexter Fletcher’s picturesque outdoor locations show an Edinburgh very different from anything imagined by Ian Rankin.

When people start singing and dancing in front of the National Gallery, it’s as if students will start to hand out flyers for a Fringe show called Sunshine on Leith.

“What makes it work are the performers, particularly Mullan and Horrocks, who give it their considerable all,” said Peter Bradshaw, with The Guardian.

Sunshine on Leith screens Monday, Feb. 2 at the Vernon Towne Cinema at regular times of 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $7, available one week ahead at the Towne Theatre and the Bean Scene.