The Angels’ Share

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 41min

STARRING: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins

Barrels of fun: Brannigan

Entrenched in devilish twin cycles of violence and poverty, out of work, out of luck and staring down the long barrel of 300 hours’ community service, Robbie (newcomer Brannigan) looks every inch a lost cause. His sole hope lies in the birth of his and girlfriend’s baby son, toasted by recently assaulted Robbie and his benevolent supervisor, Harry (Henshaw), with Harry’s single-malt whisky.


Being a Ken Loach lad from the dark side of Glasgow-town, Robbie doesn’t warm to the classy drop at first. But maybe the director is softening with age. Although The Angels’ Share takes Loach’s usual reality-gnawed tack, chinks of light break through when Robbie and fellow hard cases (Ruane, Maitland and Riggins) take a shine to the art of single malt. The title emerges as both a distiller’s reference to the 2 per cent of fermenting whisky that evaporates each year and a hat-tip to Robbie’s fight for entitlement. And why the devil not? Salvation is a positive, no matter how slyly it is come by.