Gabriel&Me review

A reworking of Lee "Billy Elliot" Hall's award-winning radio play, I Love You Jimmy Spud, Gabriel&Me finds 11-year-old Jimmy (Sean Landless) dreaming his life away in Newcastle. But instead of fantasising about football glory like other kids, he wants to become an angel.

Soon, he finds himself befriended by the Angel Gabriel (Billy Connolly), but Jimmy's otherworldly desires and the feather-covered costume he wears enrage his unemployed father (Iain Glen). Then dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer and Jimmy decides to use his celestial powers to try and save him.

It's a neat idea given an unsentimental, contemporary setting, and director Udayan Prasad shows flair, but there's too much bitter and not enough sweet. The film feels flat and strangely unmoving, Glen gives a one-note performance and the usually charismatic Connolly simply looks bored. Young Landless is good as the wistful hero, but the cinematic chemistry simply isn't there. Shame.

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