Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, The Angels’ Share is the latest collaboration between director Ken Loach (The Wind that Shakes the Barley, My Name Is Joe) and screenwriter Paul Laverty marks a sharp left turn from the pair’s impassioned, socially conscious examinations of the British underclass.
When we are first introduced to the protagonist of The Angels’ Share — Robbie (newcomer Paul Brannigan), a young, intermittently employed Glaswegian with a propensity for violence — he seems little different from the duo’s other rough-hewn working-class characters, but as his story unfolds it takes a decided, and refreshing, turn for the comic.
Determined to straighten out his life and settle down with his pregnant girlfriend (Siobhan Reilly), Robbie narrowly manages to avoid more jail time by agreeing to community service. He is soon befriended by his avuncular supervisor Harry (John Henshaw), a kindly soul who has a connoisseur’s passion for whisky. When Harry takes Robbie and his fellow young offenders Mo (Jasmin Riggins), Rhino (William Ruane) and Albert (Gary Maitland) on an outing to a distillery in the Highlands, Robbie discovers that he has a natural nose for whisky.
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