The Angels' Share (15)

Film

Comedy drama

The Angels' Share

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon May 21 2012

Ken Loach is back in the territory of the lighter, more prankish realism he explored in 2009’s ‘Looking For Eric’ with his latest film, ‘The Angels’ Share’. It finds Loach and his scriptwriter Paul Laverty in Glasgow again for the first time since 2004’s ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ (the pair made a run of Scottish stories in the late 1990s and early 2000s) for a larky crime caper about unemployment and opportunity.

It’s a film that begins with a grimace on its face and ends up wearing a strained smile. While the hero of ‘Looking For Eric’ was a likeable, depressed postie in need of a hug and a kick up the backside, here we’re presented with a more difficult, conflicted character. Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is a young lad who’s done a stretch in jail for a nasty assault – which we see in flashback – and, after another fight, narrowly avoids more time in prison by agreeing to do 300 hours of community service. This coincides with the birth of his first child, and Robbie is determined to straighten out his life and settle down with his girlfriend.

Loach and Laverty suggest extreme social pressures are the underlying causes of the mess in which Robbie, and the three others serving community sentences with him, find themselves: poverty, lack of jobs and a cycle of macho violence and easy crime. But while other Loach films have focused on the realities of such lives, this one does so to a more limited extent, allowing upbeat storytelling to transport its characters to another, hopefully better place – sprinkling a little fantasy over the realism as it goes. Robbie and his pals follow their noses and an avuncular community service leader, Harry (John Henshaw), to a whisky distillery in the Highlands where they spy an opportunity to siphon off some super-expensive, super-rare tipple and sell it to a no-questions-asked buyer, Thaddeus (Roger Allam).

And so we move from a world of court cases, dust-ups in stairwells, street chases and knife fights to a different universe of jokey neds in kilts and rarefied folk discussing single malts. It’s a jarring shift, and this isn’t the most evenly paced or tightly focused of Loach films at the best of the times. Some of the peripheral characters, presumably non-actors, such as a guide at a distillery and a fruity whisky expert, are distracting, and there are fewer good jokes than there should be (although an accusation from Henshaw, ‘You Philippine!’ – he means Philistine – is a great moment). That said, there’s a spiky camaraderie between the four young leads and a hands-over-the-eyes moment when someone downs a pint of spit.

Loach and Laverty never fully resolve the yin and yang of ‘The Angels’ Share’: the blood and the banter. But it’s still rewarding to see these filmmakers exploring a different tone with their usual compassion and eye for youthful characters still in place.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 1, 2012

Duration:

101 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ken Loach

Screenwriter:

Paul Laverty

Cast:

Roger Allam, John Henshaw

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Loulou

Very enjoyable and uplifting. Could do with more of these type of films.

Rafal

I wanted this film to be great, but sadly, it isn't. I laughed a couple of times, but the trailer was so promising that I was hoping to laugh all the time. I'm not a man of violence, so I didn't like the first couple of minutes - there was just too many of it. If it wasn't for the beautiful Scotland in this movie, I would rate it 2 stars.

rossco

I love Loach. I didnt like this film that much though. Too nationalistic (therefore unrealistic of the actions of a glaswegian from carntyne). Story was weak. Dissapointing the boy had to turn to crime to be the hero. As another guy said....too patchy and all over the place.....highlights - brannigans acting impressive....enjoyed learning about the whisky

nan hannan

one of the best films i have ever seen.i am a glaswegian and i can relate to this banter very very good

nan hannan

one of the best films i have ever seen.i am a glaswegian and i can relate to this banter very very good

Susan Gray

Loved this film. Truly of the Full Monty type. Lots of humour but somehow some real issues came across. A real feel good factor film which left you smiling at the end but with something to think about.

Susan Gray

Loved this film. Truly of the Full Monty type. Lots of humour but somehow some real issues came across. A real feel good factor film which left you smiling at the end but with something to think about.

Margaret

Saw this film today and absolutely loved it. Being a Glaswegian I totally got the patter and had me in stitches. I loved the scenery when they were on their way to the distillery as well - I never tire of our amazing scenery here in Scotland. The casting was perfect for the 4 main characters - brilliant patter. Loved the opening scene set at the train station - had tears rolling down my face. Recommend this movie to all

Margaret

Saw this film today and absolutely loved it. Being a Glaswegian I totally got the patter and had me in stitches. I loved the scenery when they were on their way to the distillery as well - I never tire of our amazing scenery here in Scotland. The casting was perfect for the 4 main characters - brilliant patter. Loved the opening scene set at the train station - had tears rolling down my face. Recommend this movie to all

Ambrosia

I had a really good time watching this film. I laughed a great deal and I felt both moved and uplifted by its optimistic tone. I thought the young cast, especially Paul Brannigan, acquitted themsleves really well and it's always a pleasure to see John Henshaw because of the humanity he imbues ihis characters with. Social realism mixed with a fantastical story might seem odd bedfellows, but for me, the movie really worked and I camed out feeling elated.

Paul

Disappointing for a Loach film, it's patchy and can't decide what story it wants to tell falling between all the stools as a result. Unconvinced by the characters or story but despite that I had a few chuckles, wait for the dvd, it's not great value for the high (Cineworld) ticket prices