Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens

'The Angels' Share,' an Inverted Morality Play

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Perhaps only in Scotland could the appreciation of fine whiskeys be touted as a path to redemption, but that’s the improbable road taken in veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach’s new comedy, The Angels’ Share. The title is a distiller’s term for the portion of whiskey that evaporates from the cask during aging, and seemingly divine intervention is echoed in this story about finding an escape from the violent slums of Glasgow.

Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is a “wee thug” who narrowly escapes jail for a random beating, and is performing community service when the judge decides that impending fatherhood is worth giving him a last chance to take care of his pregnant girlfriend, Leonie (Siobhan Reilly). But, stuck in the midst of hereditary violence, doomed to fight the son of his father’s childhood enemy, and facing no sympathy from his girlfriend’s father, the future looks hopeless.

The story (told with a stiff Scottish brogue that necessitates the fortunately provided subtitles) makes a borderline abrupt switch from stark realism to buffo comedy when Robbie discovers he has a gift for discerning Scotch, a talent he fosters through the mentorship of Harry (John Henshaw), the kindly leader of the work crew he has been assigned to along with an odd lot of misfits. What follows next is a road trip/heist story, as Robbie and his loser friends set off to the Highlands (masquerading in kilts as the young members of a whiskey club) to steal a cask of rare vintage from under the noses of the prestigious distillery where it awaits auction. Of course, things don’t go quite right — they leave the cask behind, but do manage to get away with a few bottles that go unmissed as part of “the angels’ share.”

That brutal realism gives way to farce in this winner of the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival is unsettling and raises a cloud of disbelief, though the quick pace and fairytale ending of the screenplay, written by Loach’s longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, doesn’t fail to please. For almost 50 years, Loach has been producing social realism works chronicling injustice, receiving assorted European acclaim. Guessing that he’s shied away from the hard truth in this film to pander for laughs would be a mistake. The necessary virtue displayed in The Angels’ Share is a knowing, devious kind, coupled with theft and no patience for simple sobriety — hardly the hero’s admixture in the traditional morality play. But it rings as true as the lilt of the Scottish brogue, though you might need some help in the translation.

The Angels' Share

Dir. Ken Loach; writ. Paul Laverty; feat. Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, Siobhan Reilly (unrated)
Opening Friday at Santikos Bijou

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus