Sorry We Missed You film review: heart-wrenching realism

Kris Kitchen as Ricky and Katie Proctor as Liza Jane in Sorry We Missed You.
Kris Kitchen as Ricky and Katie Proctor as Liza Jane in Sorry We Missed You.

DIRECTOR and writer duo Ken Loach and Paul Laverty have turned their fly-on-the-wall filmmaking style to the gig economy in Sorry We Missed You.

The Turner family living in England’s north east have been struggling for money since the 2008 financial crisis caused dad Ricky (Kris Kitchen) to lose his job as a builder.

He is convinced that his new job with a parcel delivery company will turn things around, though his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) is more cautious, especially as to be able to afford to buy his delivery van they must sell the car she uses for her job as a home care nurse.

Ricky is told he is not an employee of the company but a franchisee, which makes it sound like he has ownership and flexibility over his work.

In reality his life becomes dictated by a small machine used to scan in parcels and from then on tracks and times his every move until they are delivered.

When son Seb (Rhys Stone) begins getting into trouble at school, Ricky cannot find anyone to cover his route to allow him to take time off, meaning he either incurs a fine he cannot afford or becomes the absent father he was determined never to be.

Loach is known for using ‘non-professional’ actors and while this at times leads to a stiltedness in performance, it also enhances the blunt presentation of the hardships real people face everyday while simply trying to get by.

In turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, it is a relief at the end of the film to escape the relentlessness of this family’s troubles, yet with the knowledge that for so many people, this is a reality that is not left behind at the cinema.

THE ESSENTIALS

Sorry We Missed You (MA)

Director: Ken Loach

Starring: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone

Five stars

In cinemas Boxing Day

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