Gabriel & Me

Starring: Iain Glen, David Bradley, Sean Lanless & Billy Connolly
RRP: £17.99

Certificate: 15
Available now

Jimmy Spud is no ordinary eleven year old: while others dream of football and girls, he dreams of becoming an angel. When he gains an apprenticeship with the Archangel Gabriel, it seems as if his prayers have been answered. But, his "miracles" go largely unnoticed, and his robe of feathers and celestial trumpet insight fury from all around, in particular his bullying father. A disillusioned Jimmy is on the verge of quitting, but, when his father is diagnosed with cancer he decides to give it one last try: the Spuds deserve a miracle and, maybe, this time he will have the power to deliver it...

Gabriel & Me is from the writer who was responsible for Billy Elliot. And it is obvious too. It's 'grim up North' portrayal is quite hard to swallow and I never felt at ease with any of the characters except Billy Connolly.

A number of issues are broached here from pedophilia, homosexuality, child beating and madness. Not the sort of movie that you sit down and expect a few laughs from anyway.

The child actor playing Jimmy is an unknown and play the part wonderfully, as do all the cast, but it is just too damn depressing. If you are looking for a depressing story to make you realise your life isn't that bad then this is the movie for you.

The extras are a little lacking - just a trailer and a 12 minute documentary with interviews of some of the cast.

This could have been another wonderful British hit, but as well made and acted as it is I felt a little cheated - the ending could have been a little more uplifting (no pun intended).

Pete Boomer

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