Tag Archives: The Angels’ Share

Gateway’s Indie Film Showcase Cures the Blockbuster Blahs

By Hope Madden

Already tired of blockbuster season? The Gateway Film Center has just the remedy. Their Independent Film Showcase launches this week, running May 9 to May 16. This edition of the semiannual event screens seventeen flicks you’d be hard pressed to find onscreen anywhere else.

Anchored by Brit filmmaker Ken Loach’s charming The Angels’ Share – the only film in the series to boast a full slate of showings – the program offers dramas, comedies, documentaries and thrillers, each one rotating through a handful of screenings across the week.

According to Gateway president Chris Hamel, programming a series like this takes quite a while.

“The May program contains 17 films, and I watched around 50 to decide on those,” he says. “We originally planned this as a quarterly series, but to be honest, I can’t program IFS at that speed. Too many films to consider. It’s fair to say about 100 – 150 hours of watching and planning went into this festival before the marketing team started working on it.”

Why make the effort? Gateway’s goal, according to an official press release, is to “bring a diverse, compelling selection of indie films to central Ohio while also giving patrons an opportunity to see tomorrow’s Hollywood stars and A-list directors.”

Hamel believes Gateway is an ideal fit for such a showcase. According to him, “Our audience is so diverse that IFS makes great sense here. While all of these films are very good, they have a hard time finding an audience. I believe that our central location, downtown sensibilities, technology and product mix make use a great place to see a film, and IFS is just one more opportunity for our patrons to be part of the independent film world.”

Highlights include film festival favorites such as Rebecca Thomas’s fanciful religious conundrum Electrick Children, Keith Miller’s gritty redemption drama Welcome to Pine Hill, and the dark drama Rubberneck – one of two featured films (alongside Red Flag) by prolific newcomer Alex Karpovsky.

Hamel has a couple of other favorites, though.

“I absolutely loved Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film about Levon Helm, The Silence, and Welcome to the Punch,” he says.

You’ll get the chance to see these and more beginning at 7pm Thursday with the screening of Michael Gondry’s The We and the I. From there, films rotate throughout the day until it all winds up with newcomer Marialy Rivas’s controversial Young and Wild at 11:45 pm on the 16th.

Says Hamel, “I hope audiences give these films the chance the deserve.”


The full schedule of events:


Thursday May 9

The We and the I                                              7:00 PM

Electrick Children                                             9:15 PM

Welcome to the Punch                                      11:15 PM


Friday May 10

Welcome to Pine Hill                                         12:00 PM

Rubberneck                                                      2:00 PM

Red Flag                                                          4:00 PM

Somebody Up There Likes Me                           6:00 PM

Aint In It for My Health:                                     7:45 PM

A Film about Levon Helm

Welcome to the Punch                                     9:45 PM

Young and Wild                                                12:00 AM


Saturday May 11

Patang                                                             12:00 PM

Bert Stern: Original Madman                             2:15 PM

Supporting Characters                                     4:15 PM

The Silence                                                      6:15 PM

The Happy House                                             8:45 PM

Tied                                                                 10:30 PM


Sunday May 12

Bert Stern: Original Madman                             11:00 AM

You Don’t Need Feet to Dance                           1:00 PM

Somebody Up There Likes Me                           3:00 PM

The We and the I                                              4:45 PM

He’s Way More Famous than You                      7:00 PM

Ain’t In It for My Health:                                    9:15 PM

A Film about Levon Helm


Monday May 13

The Happy House                                             1:00 PM

The We and the I                                              2:45 PM

The Silence                                                      5:00 PM

Electrick Children                                             7:30 PM

Welcome to the Punch                                      9:45 PM


Tuesday May 14

He’s Way More Famous than You                      1:00 PM

You Don’t Need Feet to Dance                           3:10 PM

Patang                                                             5:20 PM

Bert Stern: Original Madman                             7:30 PM

Rubberneck                                                      9:40 PM


Wednesday May 15

Rubberneck                                                      1:00 PM

Red Flag                                                          3:10 PM

Supporting Characters                                      5:20 PM

Welcome to Pine Hill                                         7:30 PM

Tied                                                                 9:40 PM


Thursday May 16

The We and the I                                              12:45 PM

Electrick Children                                             2:45 PM

The Silence                                                      5:00 PM

Welcome to the Punch                                      7:30 PM

Ain’t In It for My Health:                                                9:45 PM

A Film about Levon Helm

Young and Wild                                                11:45 PM


Regular ticket prices apply. For tickets and information, visit www.gatewayfilmcenter.com


This piece ran originally on Columbus Underground.


I Predict Drunken Angels

The Angels’ Share

by Hope Madden

How does a young Scottish thug turn his life around to become the father his infant son needs? He relies on national resources: a kilt, some good Scotch, and the music of the Proclaimers. Done.

The Angels’ Share follows Robbie (Paul Brannigan), a wayward youth facing charges of beating and disfiguring several other young Scots. The judge chooses leniency because of the positive influence of Robbie’s girlfriend and his impending fatherhood, so he’s facing community service rather than prison time. Too bad the judge’s good nature won’t help him with his girlfriend’s dad or those same disfigured toughs.

Working again with longtime collaborator, screenwriter Paul Laverty, filmmaker Ken Loach’s eye for social commentary twinkles a bit. Like many of the duo’s films, The Angels’ Share situates us within the generations-deep custom of poverty and criminality in the UK’s lower classes. Loach’s trademark spontaneous realism is on display, but this film offers more cheek and charm, possibly less social relevance than his more famous works.

Loach’s efforts are aided by generous, naturalistic performances from a cast heavy with newcomers. (How novice and natural? Expect accents so thick you’ll be grateful for the subtitles.) But it’s veteran character actor John Henshaw who provides the spark that turns the film from grim street crime tragedy to buoyant tale of resilience. His role could easily have fallen into the realm of cliché, but the seasoned performer keeps the characterization honest. Anything else would have felt wildly out of place.

In his film debut, Paul Brannigan anchors the adventure with an understated turn that realizes the burden of self loathing and the fire of a man’s determination to change his destiny. His performance is tender and charming, not to mention terribly impressive for a novice.

He’s flanked on all sides by fresh and endearing comic foils. The supporting characters are edgy enough to broaden the image of not-quite-working-class Scotland, but Loach, Laverty and a talented supporting cast give each an individual struggle and a clear personality.

What the film lacks, finally, in social relevance it makes up for with unexpectedly joyous adventure.