During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
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........Written by
Rebecca O'Brien, producer
The film features the 'acting' of two former Dundee United football players - Charlie Miller (one of Leonie's uncles) and Andy McLaren (the father of Robbie's assault victim at the meeting). See more »
When Albert is sitting on Rhino's shoulder looking through the pub window you can see the cameraman's reflection in the window on the right of Albert. The cameraman's reflection becomes even more visible after Rhino puts Albert down. See more »
[over the speaker in the train station]
This is God calling. Get off the fucking track, will you?
See more »
Another terrific film from the master of the kitchen sink, Ken Loach. Like all of Loach's films, Angels' Share takes a look at the judicial system and how the mistreatment of criminals effects their lives. In the case of Robbie, our protagonist, the poor decision by the courts – coupled with his girlfriend and their newborn baby – has a profound effect on his life as he begins to put his juvenile past behind him that is until his community service officer instills a newfound interest in whiskey. These events lead up to a pivotal heist scene that plays out like something from the French new wave with a hint of British. Loach's direction has definitely adapted with the times but his adaptation of long-time collaborator Paul Laverty's screenplay is as poignant as it always is when the two collaborate. Undeniably better than last year's Route Irish – which was a very rare look into the Iraq war – and definitely worth the watch.
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