Rich Pickings on Sorry We Missed You

sorry we missed you

This film is a mighty blow from master of social realism Ken Loach which benefits from an acerbic script by Paul Laverty. It focuses on the woeful life of Ricky (an explosive Kris Hitchen) desperately seeking to stay off the dole and forced into a zero hours contract as a delivery driver. Loach does not labour the point but we are bound to conclude that this is grossly unfair and putting terrible pressure on him and his family.

Also his wife Abbie (in a cracking performance by Debbie Honeywood) feels the pinch as a drastically overstretched care worker. The atmosphere in the household also affects their awkward adolescent son Seb (a talented Rhys Stone) who is led into truancy and eventually suspended from school. Then there is Liza (a revelation in Katie Proctor) who due to her more naïve and innocent nature starts to wet the bed at night.

So the gig economy is examined and found wanting but without being preachy. Loach uses his familiar technique of having the actors improvise in key scenes to add to the naturalism. ‘Nasty bastard’ boss Maloney (Ross Brewster) exemplifies all that is wrong with his ‘franchise’ without demonising.

We really feel for Ricky throughout, but in particular when he is attacked and his van robbed. This leads to a fine from the company and we are left seeing the protagonist battling on despite all odds. The performances are candid and convincing and Loach is never didactic. He just allows the characters to voice out loud their fears and frustrations. Despite all the couple’s hard work it seems they will never be free from the yoke of debt and an uncertain future due to this travesty of an economy.

Loach leaves us with no easy answers, just a seething rage at our society’s injustices.

Available on BFI Player and Prime Video.

Watch the trailer:

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About richjevons23

Rich Jevons is a freelance journalist based in Leeds. Just a quick intro: thirty years' journalistic experience (I was published in the Yorkshire Post at the tender age of fifteen!); a decade as Arts Editor at Leeds Guide; freelancer including work for Big Issue in the North, Metro Newspaper, Artscene, Northern Exposure, AN, AJ, BJP, Hotshoe International, National Drama, Plays International... And edited www.digyorkshire.com until its demise at the end of 2013. Now writing predominantly for www.thestage.co.uk, www.northernsoul.me.uk, www.thepublicreviews.com, www.culturevulture.co.uk and www.thestateofthearts.co.uk.

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