The Angels' Share

"Very Good"

The Angels' Share Review


Oddly structured like a whisky tasting, this film cycles through moods from the first taste to the full flavour to the final kick. It's a bit under-developed, but the characters are lively, the settings enjoyable and the message important.

In Glasgow, Robbie (Brannigan) narrowly escapes a lengthy prison sentence and is assigned to community payback under the supervision of Harry (Henshaw). At the same time, Robbie's girlfriend (Reilly) is about to give birth to their son, forcing him to rethink his life as a street thug. After Harry introduces him to single-malt whisky, Robbie decides to further explore whisky-tasting with his fellow workers (Maitland, Ruane and Riggins). And after meeting whisky broker Thaddeus (Allam), he hatches an idea that might get them all out of trouble.

Through tone changes and lost plot-threads, the story's transitions aren't very smooth. The film opens as a dark doc-style drama about poor young people stuck in a cycle of violence, then changes into a tale of youthful hope and camaraderie before finally turning into a full-on caper comedy. All of this is written and performed to realistically reveal the issues, settings and characters as it veers between humorous slapstick, serious drama and a surprisingly tense heist.

The actors give likeable performances even when characters drift toward stereotype. At the centre, Brannigan's engaging stillness reflects Robbie's internal turmoil. Pressured from all sides, we root for him to channel his inner rage into something positive. That this turns out to be whisky feels gimmicky (the title refers to the portion that evaporates during distillation), but this world so rarely seen on-screen that we don't mind. Although the fact that a crime releases him from a life of crime is frankly dodgy.

As the story progresses, the growing camaraderie between Robbie and his pals is entertaining, as is his clear joy at fatherhood and the respect he has for Harry, the person who finally gave him a chance to straighten out. Yes, all of this is rather tidy, and perhaps not so hopeful for viewers who feel like they never had a chance like this. But the point is subtly made that it's useless to complain about low-life youth if you're not willing to do something, however small it seems, to set them on a better path.



The Angels' Share

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st June 2012

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $7M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Urania Pictures S.r.l., Entertainment One, Sixteen Films, Why Not Productions, Wild Bunch, British Film Institute (BFI), Les Films Du Fleuve

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 82 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Rebecca O'Brien

Starring: Paul Brannigan as Robbie, Siobhan Reilly as Leonie, as Harry, Gary Maitland as Albert, as Rhino, Jasmin Riggins as Mo, Scott Dymond as Willy, Scott Kyle as Clancy, Neil Leiper as Sniper, James Casey as Dougie, Caz Dunlop as Caz, Gilbert Martin as Matt, as Thaddeus, Lorne MacFadyen as Matthew / PC, David Goodall as Angus Dobie, Paul Donnelly as Jamie, Daniel Portman as Sniper's Pal 2

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.