IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
1h 41min |Drama |26 Dec 2019 (New Zealand) |Movie
Metacritic: 82/100 “Must See” Movie as voted by Film Critics
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88% Certified Fresh (Critic Reviews)
Director: Ken Loach
Writer: Paul Laverty
Stars: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone
IMDb summary: Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation.
This film will pull your heart apart, it really will. And not because it’s an emotional roller-coaster ride (which it is), but because the family portrayed in this film could be your family.
And this is, more than anything else, a movie about family and Ricky’s family is a step away from being thrown out of their flat and onto the street. It’s a dire situation for anyone to be in and Sorry, We Missed You captures it in such a way, you can’t ignore its honesty.
Ricky and his wonderful, caring wife Abbie are suffering from a serious financial setback that they’ve never recovered from. As a result, Ricky has been bouncing from job to job while Abbie is working a gruelling schedule as a carer for the elderly and disabled. For this family, it is a “make ends meet or die trying” scenario where nobody will admit defeat to a system they know is only making their lives harder. This puts an incredible strain on everyone, and in particular, Ricky, who is juggling more than he knows he can handle.
When Ricky takes a chance on a “self-employed” delivery driver opening with the UK’s top parcel delivery business, Abbie can do nothing but support him. Which means giving up her car to get him the money he needs to start off. She dutifully falls in line and Ricky starts his new job in a sound position.
What ensues is a daily struggle against a system that seems to be closing in on Ricky and his family at every turn. Financially, everything is tied up in Ricky’s business, which seems to cause more problems than its solving. Abbie is now struggling to keep to her strict schedule after giving up the car, and their oldest son Seb is pushing limitations in his own world as a teenager on the verge of imploding.
It’s like watching a ball of string unravel, which represents their lives; turmoil and strife are having their way with this family, and you can just feel the tension rising. Eventually, Seb’s poor attitude towards his school attendance and Abbie’s consistent struggle to get to work on time pushes them both onto a collision course headed straight for Ricky. And Ricky is white-knuckling his way through every day at his new job, which he’s realising wasn’t the ticket out of their financial woes that he thought it would be.
Watching this film was a little like when you drive by a car crash and you just can’t look away no matter how much you want to. It’s a kind of maddening feeling. As unenjoyable as that sounds, it’s the special ingredient that makes this film so engrossing and meaningful. You want this family to pull through, but you just don’t know if they ever will.
It’s obvious why this film ended up on the top 10 list for mid-2020. It’s ranked up there as one of my favourites of the list, and it’s only the second one we’ve seen so far.
Do not go past this one if you have time to check it out – it’s one of the best films we’ve seen this year and we’re wondering why we didn’t search for it sooner.
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.