A Glaswegian ne’er-do-well concocts a get-rich-quick scheme to make off with a case of extremely rare malt whisky, in this light-hearted comedy-drama from British master Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley).
Britain’s master realist Ken Loach has long been a champion of the neglected and downtrodden, and when we first meet the hero of his new film — Robbie (newcomer Paul Brannigan), a young, intermittently employed Glaswegian with a propensity for violence-he seems cut from much the same cloth as many of Loach’s other down-on-their-luck, working-class characters. But The Angels’ Shareis a remarkable (and delightful) departure for Loach and his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty: an engagingly off-kilter caper comedy. Opting for community service over jail time after he is charged for a brutal assault, the rough-hewn Robbie befriends three fellow layabouts and petty crooks. After meeting an expert in Scotch whisky, Robbie recruits his chums for a wild scheme to plunder a few bottles of extremely rare Malt Mill whisky and thereby make his fortune — after all, as two percent of every barrel of whisky evaporates over the course of a year (the so-called “angels’ share”), Robbie and his mates reason that it could be put to better use down on earth. Working wonders with a cast of non-professionals and making picturesque use of the lush, rolling Scottish Highlands, Loach and Laverty brilliantly transform grubby realism into sprightly fable.