Based on a true story, "Stone of Destiny" dramatizes how a gaggle of students broke into London's Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve, 1950, and stole the ancient Stone of Destiny in order to return it to its Scottish homeland.

Based on a true story, Canuck-Brit co-production “Stone of Destiny” dramatizes how a gaggle of students broke into London’s Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve, 1950, and stole the ancient Stone of Destiny in order to return it to its Scottish homeland. Helmed by Yank Charles Martin Smith (“Air Bud”), this unabashedly sentimental and outright anti-English pic is stodgy as a cheap haggis with nationalistic sentimentality. That will endear it to auds north of Hadrian’s Wall, but ravage the pic’s theatrical prospects in England. Offshore, “Stone” may stir the hearts of kilt-carrying expats and descendents in ancillary.

Fiery Scottish law student Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox) decides his country needs a symbolic act to boost national pride. He hatches a plan with friends to steal back the Stone of Destiny, a big ol’ rock that’s considered an emblem of Scottish identity but has resided for nearly 800 years in Westminster Abbey. Pic essentially reps a political broadcast for the Scottish Nationalist Party disguised as a caper movie, where nearly all English people are bad and cops lurk on every London corner — like Stalinist Russia, but with funny hats. Tech credits are pro.

Stone of Destiny

Canada-U.K.

Production

An Infinity Features Entertainment (Canada), the Mob Film Co. (U.K.) presentation, with the participation of Telefilm Canada, Paradigm London, Scottish Screen, Astral Media the Harold Greenburg Fund, Glasgow Film Office, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Film Incentive B.C., the U.K. Tax Credit, Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution. (International sales: Arclight, Los Angeles.) Produced by Andrew Boswell, Rob Merilees. Executive producers, Terrence Yason, Michael S. Murphy, Charles Martin Smith, William Vince, Carole Sheridan, Victor Loewy. Co-producer, Alan Martin. Directed, written by Charles Martin Smith, based on a memoir by Ian Hamilton.

Crew

Camera (color), Glen Winter; editor, Fredrik Thorsen; music, Mychael Danna; production designer, Tom Sayer; costume designer, Trisha Biggar. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival (British Gala), June 23, 2008. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, Stephen McCole, Ciaron Kelly, Peter Mullan.
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