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Stone of Destiny


Stars: Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, Stephen McCole, Ciaron Kelly, Peter Mullan, Brenda Fricker, Juliet Cadzow

Director: Charles Martin Smith

A somewhat whimsical (not to mention long-winded) treatment of events of 1950, when a group of Glaswegian university students, fired by dreams of Scottish nationalism, resolved to steal the 'stone of scone' from the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey.

The ramshackle nature of the raid itself has a whiff of Ealing about it, but the road to London is paved with boring one-on-one dialogue scenes, and the film could do with a good 10 minutes removed along the way, as the story drags itself out.

One or two bogus Scottish accents jar on the ears, American Mara doing rather better in this department than Cox, who plays the leader of the rebel group. Other accents from genuine Scots such as Carlyle (as the students' mentor), Kelly and McCole sound toned down for wider audiences, even if they do make a personable and diverse group. Glistening Technicolor photography by Glen Winter underlines the film's skilled Fifties sheen.

Alan Frank

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Odeon Sky Filmworks. Technicolor.
96 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 14 Dec 2008