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The Angels’ Share


In a film directing career spanning more than forty years, Ken Loach is renowned for his use of non-professional actors to give a more natural and realistic feel to films that often tackle difficult social issues. The Angels’ Share typifies this approach.

Paul Brannigan, in his first film, plays Robbie who narrowly avoids a prison sentence and ends up on a Glasgow community payback programme. Early in the film, Robbie’s girlfriend goes into labour and we see him rushing to the hospital only to be met by two of her uncles who beat him up.

Harry (John Henshaw) the leader of the community payback group takes Robbie under his wing and introduces him to the world of whisky. Robbie enjoys the camaraderie of the group including Albert (played by Gary Maitland, a Glaswegian binman in real life).

As a reward for the group’s good behaviour, Harry takes them on a tour of a whisky distillery where they find out what “the angels’ share” is and later learn of a much prized cask of whisky soon to be up for auction. Thus begins a comedic trip to the Highlands as the group turn to drink for the answer to their problems.

This is classic Loach, with similarities to films like Looking for Eric and Raining Stones; a gritty drama, superbly acted and sprinkled with moments of genuine hilarity.



From → Culture

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