By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 22, 2011 at 3:20AM
In his mid-70s, with a decades-spanning career behind him, director Ken Loach continues to be a strong cinematic voice. His last few films "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," "Looking for Eric" and "Route Irish" commanded solid critical notices and found the helmer's talents still firing on all fronts. And he continues to work at a prolific pace as he's already lined up his next gig.
A handful of returning players John Henshaw ("Looking for Eric"), William Ruane ("The Wind That Shakes the Barley"), Gary Maitland ("Sweet Sixteen") and Roger Allam ("Tamara Drewe") and newcomers Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly and Jasmin Riggins will star in "The Angel's Share," a bittersweet comedy from Loach. Again keeping it in house, Paul Laverty ("Looking for Eric," "The Wind That Shakes the Barley") penned the screenplay about "a new father who has narrowly escaped a prison sentence and, with the help of fellow community service workers, concocts a plan to carve out a new future that involves a whiskey distillery."
Sounds like a possible low-key charmer and it's all coming together fast. Filming begins next week in Scotland and the movie is already set for release in Ireland and the U.K. next year. No word on other territories yet, but sales are likely to follow soon.
And oh yeah, if you need some Loach in your life a little bit sooner, the director's 1970 film "Kes" -- considered by many to be one of the best British films of all time -- just hit shelves from The Criterion Collection this week, so be sure to track it down. [Variety]