The Angels’ Share

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

This comedy/drama is my favorite movie since SXSW in early March.

Robbie, played by newcomer Paul Brannigan, seems to be headed to jail. Due to his impending fatherhood, he is given a lenient sentence of community service. Despite the sentence and his desire to turn things around, it appears the Robbie is doomed to a life of trouble. Things look so bleak for Robbie that his girlfriend’s father offers to pay him to leave Glasgow and never return.

In community service, Robbie befriends three other troubled souls without bright futures who are all helped by the leader of the group, Harry, played by John Henshaw. Most of the comedy is the interaction of these characters. Harry takes the group on a whiskey tasting excursion and Robbie’s burgeoning nose for whiskey provides a possible path to redemption and a better life for him and his family (so this is definitely a film to see for anyone really into whiskey).

This isn’t the funniest or deepest movie ever, but it just makes you feel good. It reminded me of The Full Monty…just a good comedy with some drama mixed in about someone with a future that doesn’t look bright, but who gives it their best. One other similarity is that The Angels’ Share features people who speak English, but whose accents make it very tough to understand at first. In this case the filmmakers were kind enough to provide subtitles.  After the first 15 minutes or so they weren’t really needed, but it was nice to have them there.

My two favorite parts of the movie were the very beginning and the very end (sweet), but I also liked the stuff in between. This is an art house movie that may be hard to find, but if you can, check it out.

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