Stone of Destiny

There are numerous significant events that are eventually swallowed by the black hole of memory, even those that united a nation. The retrieval of the Stone of Scone is one of those instances but this film will surely bring it back to the forefront of people's minds.

In 1296, England’s Edward I claimed Scotland’s Stone of Scone as part of his spoils of war and took the 300-pound sandstone home with him. It remained a not so subtle symbol of England’s rule over Scotland.

Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox) is a loyal member of the nationalist party but their inability to accomplish any of their goals and their lack of support from most of the country irks him. The party leader (Robert Carlyle) is smart and charismatic but he's also at the end of his rope. In a moment of clarity, Ian enlists the help of his best friend (Billy Boyd) to provide the country with a symbol, a reason to fight – they are going to steal the Stone from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland, its rightful home. With no prior experience but extensive plans, Ian and three others (Kate Mara, Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole) successfully, although imperfectly, recovered the Stone on Christmas day 1950. All of Scotland rejoiced but the Stone was eventually reclaimed by the English only to return to Scotland on loan.

The actors portraying this determined group really bring the story to life; they are passionate and sincere. The audience is swept away by the story and made equally mad by the dispossession regardless of their background.

The story is one of hope that individuals can make a difference. It also implies not doing anything, being apathetic, is part of the problem. These points are underlined by the juxtaposition of an inspiring speech with one of hopelessness.

The mix of comedy and suspense makes Stone of Destiny an excellent choice for the closing night gala film.

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