Sorry We Missed You (CIFF 2019)

Ken Loach‘s followup to I, Daniel Blake is another stab at following working-class citizens as they struggle to make ends meet. This time, he follows a family where the two adults work under zero-hour contracts, essentially without guaranteed income. Ricky (Kris Hitchen) is a delivery driver working under tight deadlines and unfair circumstances. Abby (Debbie Honeywood) is a health care worker for the elderly. Both are under tremendous stress, which bubbles up in their home life—especially when the two areas interfere with one another directly.

Sorry We Missed You plays out almost like a documentary—an intimate detailing of the day-to-day lives of these characters that tries its best not to make us feel like we’re watching a movie. And while Loach knows restraint when it comes to flash and flair, grounding the production in as much realism as he can, he seems less aware of when to say “uncle” when it comes to throwing as much garbage his characters’ way as he can. It gets a bit much, the film becomes message-mongering over character drama, and it loses a little bit of its power when it tips the scales too far in that direction.

Still, it remains a heartbreaking film about the working class and it certainly delivers its messages loud and clear. And its performances are tremendous. Kris Hitchen and Debbie Honeywood are the easy standouts, while Rhys Stone as the troubled son and Katie Proctor as the young daughter are also wonderful. The movie, overall, works, but it does do its story a disservice by trying to get too message-hungry.

Conclusion: Sorry We Missed You is an intimate and heartbreaking movie whose only issue is how hard it tries to hammer its point home—to the point of kneecapping its story at times.

Recommendation: Sorry We Missed You is Ken Loach doing Ken Loach things, and that’s good. Check it out.

  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10

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