The Angels’ Share (2012)

The Angels’ Share (2012)
  • Time: 101 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Director: Ken Loach
  • Cast: Roger Allam, John Henshaw, William Ruane


This bitter sweet comedy follows protagonist Robbie as he sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time. Overwhelmed by the moment, he swears that Luke will not have the same tragic life he has had. Escaping a prison sentence by the skin of his teeth, he’s given one last chance……While serving a community service order, he meets Rhino, Albert and Mo who, like him, find it impossible to find work because of their criminal records. Little did Robbie imagine how turning to drink might change their lives – not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. Will it be ‘slopping out’ for the next twenty years, or a new future with ‘Uisge Beatha’ the ‘Water of Life?’ Only the angels know…

One comment

  • The first part of this film was to me something that had never been seen before in cinema. We were drawn into the violent world of the Glasgow street thug. We saw the drugs, the mindless violence, the broken lives of the victims and the perpetrators. We saw the destitution of the young people in the worst parts of the city, those without any hope of a future, whose only recourse was to a life of drugs and crime. We saw that a self-centred, uncaring society itself had played a large part in forming these young people and had them under its heel, where there was no escape. We saw the young thug facing his victim and his family in some sort of meeting, as he recounted the terrible frenzied attack where he thought he was going to die. We saw the effect it had on the victim’s family. And most touchingly we saw the deep remorse on the thug’s face as the victim’s mother remonstrated with him about the heartbreak he had created in a moment of madness, and he thought about his own newborn son. And we looked at the broken lives on both sides of the table. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to be so moved to compassion over a hood’s life until I saw this film. Then there was the friendship and help offered to him by strangers as he tries to reform now he is a father. It would have been wonderful to see this life lifting itself out of the morass of crime and violence into a world of decency. It can and does happen, and what a wonderful heartwarming tale this would have been if that had been the destination of the movie. Such an idea should not be seen as a fairy tale and discarded in favour of ‘realism’. We could have seen redemption (it does say it’s there on the jacket), we could have seen reconciliation, we could have seen hope. To me the film slipped steadily after the opening scenes and the consummation of the story seems to be ‘crime can pay – just be enterprising’. Or ‘just one more heist, and then we’re through’. Really? The screenplay, acting and direction were brilliant.

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