Winter film series coming to an end Sunday

The Scottish comedy/drama The Angels’ Share screens at 5 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre.

The Comox Valley Art Gallery/Toronto International Film Fest – Film Circuit Winter Film Series is coming to an end this Sunday.

The Scottish comedy/drama The Angels’ Share screens at 5 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre.

Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the latest collaboration between director Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes The Barley, My Name Is Joe) and screenwriter Paul Laverty marks a sharp left turn from the pair’s impassioned, socially conscious examinations of the British underclass.

When we are first introduced to the protagonist of The Angels’ Share — Robbie, a young, intermittently employed Glaswegian with a propensity for violence — he seems little different from the duo’s other rough-hewn working-class characters, but as his story unfolds it takes a decided, and refreshing, turn for the comic.

Determined to straighten out his life and settle down with his pregnant girlfriend, Robbie narrowly manages to avoid more jail time by agreeing to community service. He is soon befriended by his avuncular supervisor Harry, a kindly soul who has a connoisseur’s passion for whisky.

When Harry takes Robbie and his fellow young offenders Mo, Rhino and Albert on an outing to a distillery in the Highlands, Robbie discovers that he has a natural nose for whisky. With his newfound skill, Robbie soon hatches a plan to plunder a few bottles of extremely rare Malt Mill whisky, which would give him and his fellow roughnecks enough money to clear their debts and start afresh.

Working wonders with a cast of non-professionals and unknowns, and making picturesque use of the lush, rolling Scottish Highlands, Loach transforms grubby realism into sprightly fable.

Calling to mind two classic Scottish comedies, Alexander Mackendrick’s Whisky Galore! and Bill Forsyth’s That Sinking Feeling, The Angels’ Share is whimsical, light-hearted and freewheeling — but like any good whisky, it’s still got a bit of a kick.

“This is British comedy at its warmest and most pleasurable; cask strength, unfiltered and neat.” — Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph.

All films are fundraisers for the Comox Valley Art Gallery. For updates and more information, visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com.

— Comox Valley Art Gallery

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