Director Ken Loach and his longtime writing collaborator Paul Laverty comes with a light movie that has some social relevance. Loach said during The Angels’ Share premiere that they wanted to make people smile with the movie. They can’t ignore the reality of the worsening crisis among young people.
The Angels’ Share got the Jury Prize at Cannes. Laverty said that over 75 million youth are looking for work across the globe. Scotland’s youth unemployed is over 23 percent and over 5.5 million under the age of 25 out of work in Europe. Loach added that they wanted to tell a story about the unemployed youth. They wanted to show, not just the tragedy, but also the fun of youth, their mischief, and determination to achieve something.
The Angels’ Share is about Robbie (Paul Brannigan). He gets into a lot of trouble and lands in court. He is then assigned community service. He is unemployed along with his cohorts. He is going to be a father soon and can’t see a bright future for himself ahead. He knows he has a talent but he doesn’t get the breaks. When his son is born, Robbie pledges to be a good father and not let his boy down.
Robbie is taken to a trip by his community service supervisor, Harry. They go to a magical place, which is a distillery in the countryside. They learn how whisky is made and learn how to sniff and taste. They are taught about aging and how evaporation takes place inside the cask. This is said to be the Angels’ Share, 2 percent lost each year. Robbie finds out that he has a discerning palate and has found his calling in life.
Writer Laverty discovered his lead actor while doing research for the Angels’ Share. Brannigan had been through tough times and was coaching a soccer team as part of a Violence Reduction Unit.