What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Angels' Share was directed by UK filmmaker Ken Loach, who's known for his realistic portraits of the working class. This one is less grim than many of his other works, with plenty of comedy (and some crime) to lighten up the dreary realism. Language is the strongest issue, with frequent uses of "f--k" and "c--t," as well as other words. Whisky is part of the plot; characters enjoy the smells and taste of it, though getting drunk isn't the point. Bullies are also part of the plot, and there are some brief but intense fighting scenes. There's no real sex or sexuality, other than the fact that the hero's girlfriend is pregnant and has a baby. The characters resort to crime with no consequences -- but despite their behavior, they seem to have good hearts and are very compassionate and likeable.

  • Families can talk about the characters' interest in whisky. Is it realistic to be interested in the look, feel, taste, and smell of an alcoholic beverage without being interested in getting drunk?

  • Robbie and his friends are very troubled and make iffy choices, but they're still sympathetic. How does The Angels' Share accomplish this? Is it OK to sympathize with characters who aren't pure role models?

  • What is "realism" in movies? How "realistic" does this movie feel? Is it possible to capture absolute reality in a movie?

  • How does the movie explain the existence of bullies? How do the characters deal with them? Is there a better way to deal with them?

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