The Angels’ Share is a term distillers’ use to vintage whiskey lost in the barrel due to evaporation. It is hard to determine the exact amount the angels will get from each barrel. This is utilized for the scheme in Ken Loach’s movie.
The Angels’ Share is about Robbie (Paul Brannigan), a guy with a temper that almost sent him to jail. He is saved by his pregnant girlfriend. He is instead sentenced to community service and falls under the supervision of Harry (John Henshaw), a middle-aged volunteer.
Through Harry, Robbie learns that he has a nose for fine malt whiskey. He also hears of an upcoming auction of one of the rarest vintages ever distilled in Scotland. Robbie takes on three other losers from his community service to get an angels’ share from the whiskey barrel.
The Angels’ Share is a crowd pleaser that follows the tradition of Loach’s previous movie, Looking for Eric. It has the same working-class aesthetic the filmmaker is known for. The director takes his time to establish the character and their lack of prospects before getting into the heist. It doesn’t have his socialist social issues that were part of his dramas and this is why The Angels’ Share is more entertaining.
Paul Brannigan provides the right screen presence to play Robbie the troubled young man. He has the right amount of fire inside him. John Henshaw is down to earth as Harry. Roger Allam plays Thaddeus the whiskey broker. He provides some roguish sophistication to the movie.
On the bad side, Robbie’s three co-conspirators in the crime feel like recycled characters from Loach’s previous movies. But they didn’t manage to undermine The Angels’ Share charm. The movie is satisfying. If you are looking for a feel good movie, then go watch this one.