A Wee Taste of Scotland…
A young jobless Glaswegian and his friends meet on a community payback scheme. After visiting a distillery with these friends, he is torn on the best means to improve his life as he knows it for his wee family.
THE ANGELS’ SHARE – Official Theatrical Trailer, IFC Films, ww.youtube.com
So I’m back with a Scottish theme again for this review, not the long awaited second Outlander full season review as yet! So if you are wanting your Sam Heughan or Caitriona Balfe fix here’s Outlander reviews for Season 1, the Trailer for Season 2 and the first episode of season 2 to keep you going. The only thing in common with these reviews and this one, is the Scottish actor, Scott Kyle. Kyle has appeared in Outlander Season 2 as Ross and this Scottish film, The Angels’ Share (2012) as Clancy. Luckily was able to find a pictures of him in this film and if you keep your eyes peeled in the trailer…
This comedy drama film was directed by Ken Loach, who was in his mid 70s when he directed it. If you are American – or anything other than Glaswegian – you may not understand the trailer. The New York Times reported this film was subtitled due to the heavy Scottish accents. The accents are quite strong for the non-Glaswegians amongst you. I understood it well, but I’m a daughter of two Glaswegians and was brought up there for a wee while. However I am optimistic for the Scottish accent, thanks to Outlander and the subtitling of this film bearing in mind poor John Gordon Sinclair and Clare Grogan were dubbed in the recently reviewed Scottish classic, Gregory’s Girl (1981) for American audiences.
The film starts with a wee cameo for Ford Kierman (Jack from Still Game (2002-)) that Darlin’ Husband noticed as drunk Albert (Gary Maitland) finds himself on a railway track and is tactfully – in a fun Scottish way – asked to remove himself from the track as a train is coming. We then head to court where we meet the other lead characters, in front of the judge for a variety of misdemeanours including shop lifting (Mo), hoisting a Scottish flag onto a statue (Rhino) and viciously attacking a young man (Robbie). All are given community payback hours. Robbie (Paul Brannigan) – the hero of this piece – escapes jail as he’s soon going to be a daddy. This news leading to uproar from Clancy (Kyle) and his buddies who threaten Robbie as he leaves the court.
Jamie is late for his first day with the community payback group, however is let off by Harry (John Henshaw). Henshaw also starred in the newly reviewed Starter for 10 (2006) . While Harry and the group are renovating a community centre, Jamie has to leave as Leonie is in labour. He is attacked by 3 of her family at the hospital, despite Harry attending with him. He goes home with Harry to see to his wounds, and the pair drink some vintage whisky to celebrate the baby’s birth. Jamie, then in a heartfelt scene meets the man he attacked and his family. As the victim describes his attack, Jamie feels remorse and cries. His girlfriend tells him she wants a better life for their son.
On his day off, Harry takes the Community Payback team to a distillery where they – and the audience – get an interesting explanation of how whisky is made and bottled. Here we learn the meaning behind the film’s title. The Angels Share being the whisky which evaporates while still in the cask. Young Jamie shows that he has a nose for whisky impressing the distillery guide and later this is also remarked on at a whisky society meeting. There Robbie meets a whisky dealer, played charmingly by Roger Allam. Mo steals a sheet detailing the whereabouts of a rare whisky. She then suggests they steal then sell some of the whisky. Doing this could lead to a new start for Jamie and his wee family as an end to his money problems, a chance to go straight and leave Glasgow and his feud with Clancy and Leonie’s family behind…
The film is best summed up as a wee smasher of a film. The cast is superb and using relative unknowns works in its favour. Brannigan as Jamie, makes his character sympathetic. Jamie is very much the anti-hero – having attacked a man leaving him half blind – but he is seen as charismatic and keen to escape the hold his environment has on him and obtain a good job to provide for his family. His adversary Clancy is played with menace by Scott Kyle and he is hardly recognisable with shaved head and threatening stance. The supporting actors are convincing in their roles, making each character lovable in the same way as the Trainspotting (1996) characters did 20 years ago. Roger Allam is playing the well renowned charming – yet slimy – character we love him for in Thaddeus and that’s all I’ll say on this subject.
It was lovely seeing Scotland and Scottish treasures again with many shots of the scenery, dress, music, accents and drinks that remind me of home. These all contributed to the plot in their own way making it a uniquely Scottish film. In writing this film, this was effectively in two parts. In part one we got to meet and understand the characters, their nuances and motivations, with part 2 full of delightful, intrinsically Scottish connotations. If you want a film full of Scottish spirit, with heavy Scottish overtones which reminds you of the heather and hills of Scotland this is a must watch movie.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 :-(/10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Hulk Rating: /10
Bonus Trailer : No
It takes a Thief Blogathon 2017, No 60
This film was entered in Moon in Gemini’s It takes a Thief Blogathon. Other films and TV with this cast include John Henshall in Starter for 10. Scott Kyle features in my review of Outlander Series 2. I was also lucky to interview this actor for my blog HERE.