William Ruane

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Honour Review


Weak

There's such an important issue at the centre of this British thriller that the film should not be ignored, even if filmmaker Shan Khan strains to turn it into a formulaic thriller. It's beautifully shot and performed with emotional resonance by a gifted cast, but the fragmented structure makes it difficult to engage with the story.

The topic at hand is honour killing, a threat that becomes real for British-Pakistani estate agent Mona (Aiysha Hart) when she decides to run off with her boyfriend Tanvir (Nikesh Patel) against her family's wishes. So her mother (Harvey Virdi) and older brother Kasim (Faraz Ayub), reluctantly joined by younger brother Adel (Shubham Saraf), hire an unnamed bounty hunter (Paddy Considine) to track her down and stop her. But this case forces him to examine with his own past as a racist thug.

Considine delivers one of his most textured performances yet as a man who is finally listening to his conscience after years of harsh brutality. This makes him an absorbing character through which to enter this story, and his limited interaction with others is telling and sometimes moving. Hart is also terrific as a young woman who is pushed from high-flying professional to cowering victim by her own subculture. The other standout is Saraf as a teen who knows his family traditions are utterly wrong and feels helpless to stand up against them.

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Honour Trailer


Mona is a beautiful young woman brought up in a strictly Muslim family in Britain but has preferences towards Western ideologies. Not one to confine herself within her family's religion, she improperly finds herself a Punjabi boyfriend with whom she has a forbidden intimate relationship. Well aware of her family's unwavering stance on the importance of virginity and marriage, Mona plans to run away with him but not before her relations attempt the brutal honour killing of her in the name of Islam. She flees, but her family are not done yet and her mother calls in a ruthless bounty hunter in a bid to save their reputation. The hunter is usually happy to kill people on a business is business basis, but just how will he feel once Mona is in his grasp?

'Honour' is a dynamic and heart-stopping thriller about issues that have been around for centuries amongst religious families. Starring Paddy Considine ('The World's End', 'The Bourne Ultimatum') and up-and-coming actress Aiysha Hart ('Atlantis', 'Djinn'), it has been directed by BAFTA nominated Shan Khan ('Candy Bar Kid' short film) in her feature film directorial debut. The film is scheduled for release in the UK on April 4th 2014.

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The Angels' Share Review


Good
Oddly structured like a whisky tasting, this film cycles through moods from the first taste to the full flavour to the final kick. It's a bit under-developed, but the characters are lively, the settings enjoyable and the message important.

In Glasgow, Robbie (Brannigan) narrowly escapes a lengthy prison sentence and is assigned to community payback under the supervision of Harry (Henshaw). At the same time, Robbie's girlfriend (Reilly) is about to give birth to their son, forcing him to rethink his life as a street thug. After Harry introduces him to single-malt whisky, Robbie decides to further explore whisky-tasting with his fellow workers (Maitland, Ruane and Riggins). And after meeting whisky broker Thaddeus (Allam), he hatches an idea that might get them all out of trouble.

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UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

Ken Loach and William Ruane - Jasmin Riggins, Gary Maitland, Ken Loach, Paul Brannigan and William Ruane Tuesday 29th May 2012 UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

William Ruane - William Ruane, Jasmin Riggins Tuesday 29th May 2012 UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

William Ruane - Jasmin Riggins, Gary Maitland, Paul Brannigan and William Ruane Tuesday 29th May 2012 UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

William Ruane

UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

William Ruane - William Ruane, Jasmin Riggins, Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly and Gary Maitland Tuesday 29th May 2012 UK premiere of 'The Angel's Share' at Cineworld Glasgow

William Ruane

'The Angel's Share' photocall during the 65th Cannes Film Festival

William Ruane and Cannes Film Festival - William Ruane, Tuesday 22nd May 2012 'The Angel's Share' photocall during the 65th Cannes Film Festival

William Ruane and Cannes Film Festival

The Angels' Share Trailer


Robbie is an ex-offender and new father who is looking for a new lease on life after narrowly escaping prison for his last offence. Upon seeing his newborn son for the first time he vow that his child will never have to endure the same mistakes he has. Along with the new found friends he has made on community service they visit one of the many whiskey distilleries in his native Scotland and he soon learns that turning to drink might very well change his life.

Continue: The Angels' Share Trailer

The Wind That Shakes the Barley Review


Good
A large contention at last year's Cannes Film Festival was held over the Palme D'Or recipient, which had been handed to the Dardenne brothers for L'Enfant in 2005. Upsetting expected winners Volver, Babel, and Marie Antoinette at the 2006 Cannes fest, Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley ended up taking the prize. Stridently political in its telling of the birth of the IRA and its eventual separation into factions, Loach has been working towards this for most of his life. His films have always been political but they've been hidden under the guise of modern social workings. Here, for better or for worse, the politics are coaxed to the foreground and the story braves harsh waters to balance the politics and the humanity of its subject matter.

Loach casts the narrative birth of the IRA at the feet of two brothers: Damien and Teddy O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney, respectively). Damien's passive-aggressive nature towards the Black and Tans (the British Army) quickly gets sucked into Teddy's volatile rage when he witnesses a beating at a train station, moments before he was to leave for med school. Through torture (nail-pulling that makes Syriana look like a Friday afternoon in the Hamptons), shootouts, and political ebb and flow, the IRA fights dirty for independence. When the Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed (giving Ireland Free State/Dominion status), the IRA splits into the Old IRA (Damien's boys) and the National Army (Teddy's Treaty-friendly pack).

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Sweet Sixteen Review


Excellent
If the title suggests beautiful teenagers graduating from high school, fighting their hormones as they contemplate the opposite sex, and colorful parties to celebrate the special occasion, director Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty are here to tell you that the picture is decidedly less lighthearted on the uncordial streets of Greenock, an economically struggling suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. Here, where mutual respect is an alien concept, the possibilities for a promising 15-year-old boy gives a whole darker cast to the term, "coming of age." And, the only thing here that's beautiful is the finely structured screenplay that traces the evolution of youthful criminality with tempered control and believability.

Fifteen year old Liam (Martin Compston) is a standout among his peers for his natural creativity and audacious leadership, as he graduates his money-making enterprises toward increasingly illegal and remunerative use. We meet him as he and his closest mate Pinball (William Ruane) sell cheap fags to the gentry on the street and in a local bar. But the result is slim pickings, and not nearly enough to realize his dreams of providing a fresh start for his mum Jean (Michelle Coulter) when she gets out of prison. While this appears the noble desire of a dutiful son, it will become clear that it's more the obsession of a boy too immature to put relationships in their proper perspective.

Continue reading: Sweet Sixteen Review

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