When Robbie (Paul Brannigan) sees his newborn son Luke, he is overwhelmed by admiration and determination to give him the life he never had. But being regular at the court house with an impressive list of offenses, switching to the straight and narrow seems a bit far-fetched.
The opening scene is the most sombre; the four leads are introduced via their latest offence, as the charge is read in court. A clear picture is given of the various personalities that embody the story. There’s the idiot Albert (Gary Maitland) to whom the judge says “your profound stupidity is only matched by your good fortune” and who is responsible for most of the comic relief in the film. Then there is the petty thief Mo (Jasmin Riggins), the vandualist Rhino (William Ruane) and Robbie the thug, who’s attorney makes a plea that fatherhood has changed him and up until this act of assault there has been 10 months without any offence. All are sentenced between 100 – 300 hours of community payback.
The four start working under the supervision of Harry (John Henshaw), who takes genuine interest in each person under his guidance. Harry has a great fondness for whiskey, and takes the whole lot to a distillery on account of good behaviour. Robbie discovers he has a real talent for his ability to identify the different flavours, which gets him an invite to Edinburgh, where a whiskey collector, Thaddeus (Roger Allam), hands him his card. While at Edinburgh, Robbie learns about a cask of invaluable whiskey that has been found and will soon be up for auction. Thus making for a very fitting title as The Angels’ Share is a whiskey term for the alcohol amount that evaporates during the maturing process, as much as 2% per year. The wheels in his head starts turning, and a clever plan to steal some is brewing. Each member of the four alliances plays his/her part to ensure success, but with a character like Albert one can be weary.
Overall, the film has received a positive response and was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. For me personally, it is not a very memorable film. It’s easy to watch and easy to forget.