Of the more than 1,700 film submissions from across the globe, the Atlantic Film Festival has selected The Angels’ Share for its Opening Gala. The Scottish comedy, directed by Ken Loach, is a superb selection to kick-off the film fest as it elicits universal appeal.
In a unique rags-to-riches tale, Robbie has barely avoided being sent back to prison just ten days before the birth of his son. Instead he is ordered to complete a community payback order. While he cleans up cemeteries and paints community centres, he bonds with several fellow offenders along with the program’s supervisor over whiskey. Robbie realizes his nasal passages are especially adept at deciphering between different malts and blends. He and his fellow “dregs” manage to use this skill to outsmart affluent connoisseurs for life-altering financial gain.
The Angels’ Share is a light-hearted film with glimpses of both unsettling violence and belly-laughter hilarity. Performances by Paul Brannigan (Robbie), Siobhan Reilly (Leonie, Robbie’s girlfriend) and Gary Maitland (Albert, co-conspirator) are particularly noteworthy. (Interestingly enough, despite the film’s acclaim at Cannes, Maitland still prefers to keep his full time job as a garbage man, the Daily Record reported in June).
The film’s happy ending is almost perfectly wrapped inside a gift box; but audience members are sure to leave with a smile, carrying their own angels’ share - hope that even the most seemingly inescapable situations can some day turn around.
Tonight’s screening at the Oxford Theatre will roll out the red carpet for the film’s producer, Rebecca O’Brien. ~ Michelle Brunet
The Angels' Share kicks off the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax tonight;
Oxford Theatre 6:30 PM
Park Lane #7 7:00 PM
Park Lane #8 7:00 PM