Sorry We Missed You (2019)
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For both Ricky and Abby, but especially for Ricky, work is rarely rewarding or empowering. It's degrading and damaging, especially when it comes to their relationships with each other and their school-age kids, glass-half-full daughter Lisa (Katie Proctor) and vulnerable son Seb (Rhys Stone) - and the mental health of them all. The film begins with Ricky signing up to a new job - dropping off parcels at breakneck speed around the city. But it's an app-driven posting - a gig-economy non-job - that comes with next to zero benefits: no contract, no confirmed earnings and, worst of all, a series of penalties that kick in if you don't toe the line or meet targets.
'Sorry We Missed You' returns us to the same modern Newcastle of 'I, Daniel Blake'. You can imagine glancing at the characters from that earlier film in the wing mirror of the gleaming white van that Ricky drives all over the city. It feels like a companion piece to that 2016 film. It's the same world, with a different story, and there are specific ways, too, in which the films talk to each other: the work-world jargon spoken over the blacked-out opening credits; an interest in the drama of graffiti; and a key scene in which a main character is pushed to a dehumanising breaking point in public. What's different is the detail with which Loach and his collaborators examine the effects of work and society on the nuclear family. The film's tragedy is that no amount of love and goodwill can save us when the cards are so horribly stacked against us.
And that title, 'Sorry We Missed You': of course it's the faux-friendly message left on doorsteps everywhere by parcel delivery firms. But here it also nods to the left behind, to the overlooked, to the forgotten. Loach and his team, including the writer Paul Laverty, demonstrated a new urgency in their work with 2016's 'I, Daniel Blake'. You can feel it again with this powerful, bleak film that feels acutely of the moment but also carries within it the same question that Loach has been asking for more than 50 years: does life really have to be like this?
The movie doesn't say any directly political word or doesn't picture any agitative scene. But, it really strikes the audience and reflects hard reality of actual daily life in U.K. Within a plain narration (however much more harder than "I, Daniel Blake") and masterfully avoiding a catharsis final, Loach tells great majorities' pity lives;
-. Flexible working conditions instead of officially regular work hours
-. Ambigious labour shifts which comprise no stable daily break-time or weekly holiday
-. obligations of unemployment and debts to consent those terrible working conditions.
-. the one can't find any time for the family, friends or any leisure avtivity and could easily transform to a non-sensual monster... Loach, with no boring narration and without a huge agitation, tells an ordinary family's very realistic and sentimental story.
I think every audience will leave the theatre with a high anger to the capitalist system!!! Thank you, Ken Loach!!!
The film tells the story of one family's struggle to regain financial independence whilst working jobs with zero hour contracts and the stress and uncertainty this brings. We witness their family life become more and more toxic as both parents become exhausted and eventually lose their sense of dignity.
Like most of Ken Loaches films it's graphic, brutally honest and difficult to watch at times. but told with real empathy. At one point in the film the lady next to me buried her head in her hands her as she couldn't bare to witness the struggle and humiliation facing the family.
During another scene in the film the whole theatre burst into applause as the wife grabs the phone from her husband out of sheer anger at the way he is being talked to by his unempatheitc boss and gives him a piece of his mind.
The film doesn't end on a happy note, there isn't any way it for it to do so. It simply highlights that for many the struggle is both real and never ending and yet again you leave the theatre feeling upset and angry that such atrocities are allowed to happen.
The story is about a working class family in crisis. The father worked 90 hour weeks as a delivery man. His boss is completely unsympathetic and hard...like a rock. The wife is also working 12-14 hour days and together they barely get by. But, because they are barely home, it's taking a huge emotional and physical toll on them as well as the family. Through the course of the film, you see these decent people fall apart....and there doesn't seem to be any answer for their predicament.
This movie was brilliant in that the actors seemed nothing like conventional actors....they were REAL. But, unlike non-professional actors, they were convincing and extremely effective. I applaud them and Loach for delivering a film that makes you think and feel....and challenges your preconceptions about the fairness and decency in the modern economy. A film not to be missed...unless you are depressed. If you do suffer from clinical depression or your life has been hard lately....maybe you might want to skip this one.
Sorry We Missed You looks at the dog end of the Tories' policies where two thirds of workers are paid less than £20,000 a year. Well below the national average. When we should have been spending to invest in Britain, Tory Chancellor George Osborne was cutting. And instead of a workforce building and making a better Britain, and all paying tax. We have a new workforce of self-employed delivery drivers. Sorry We Missed You spotlights the much trumpeted GIG economy that helps fill that demand. And while Germany makes cars, Britain delivers parcels on zero hour contracts.
Kris Hitchen's Ricky Turner could have been part of the workforce that rebuilt Britain, but after the 2008 financial crash he lost his building job. Afterwards with wife Abbie played by Debbie Honeywood, they lost their arranged mortgage when Northern Rock went under. Now they rent a terrace house with their two kids, and try to keep their heads above water.
Having worked all his life and never been on the dole Ricky now gets the opportunity to 'come on-board' as a driver in a great delivery opportunity. The terms and conditions are as bad as you can imagine and don't include a bottle for bathroom breaks, provide that yourself with the van, as you won't get any breaks. Time is his money and if he doesn't make the deliveries on time he'll get his pay docked. But he's reminded by the b****rd manager that this is a great self employment gig. We know all about these 'self-employed' GIGs. Ricky can rent a van from the company at £65 a day or buy his own. But with the thought his hard work can help them out of their financial debts, Ricky goes ahead and sells Abbie's car to get £1000 deposit for his own van.
Fantastic, except Abbie is a home carer and her workday starts at 6:30 and ends at 21:30, and now she's on the bus. Abbie's job is not for the faint hearted and she treats her care in the community clients the way she would treat her mother. This the coal face of our economy. Underpaid and under appreciated. As long as the families don't actually have to do the caring everyone's happy.
Keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads is hard enough for Ricky and Abbie, but their children see the stress their parents are under and it affects them equally. Rhys Stone's Seb is a would-be Banksy with a bad attitude towards society and is completely uninterested in school. Why get £57k into debt going to University and then working in a call centre he says to his parents. Only to spend the weekend drinking to make up for life's disappointments. Ken Loach covers it all. And little poppet Katie Proctor is a studious daughter, but although not rebellious, her trauma is as profound.
There seems no end to the agony of this lifestyle. And while Ricky is good at his job, his customers can be arses, and my god it will make you think when that poor delivery person brings your next parcel. And being conscientious at work doesn't count for jack when he needs support for his family. And Ken even gets to give us a little A&E action, but they really are angels. Even with the wait.
Most of the actors seem to be in their first acting jobs so the film had a sort of real life documentary feel about it. And I watch a lot of movies but I came out of Sorry We Missed You absolutely shellshocked. I started adding sanitary products to food bank boxes after seeing I, Daniel Blake in 2016, but our charity isn't enough for society today. Poor people with nothing are working and still looking out for each other. With rare glimpses of pure happiness among the grit and a touching script by Paul Laverty Sorry We Missed You is a parable of our times that MPs of every party should watch. And then for God's sake act. There is no way out otherwise from the hardship this family and many others in this country face.
Bravo once again Ken Loach, the greatest social dramatist of our time.
Daniel's quagmire is plain and simple, but those functionaries occupying a place in the bureaucratic hierarchy keep winking at it (save a sympathetic one who sticks her neck out for him once, only to be taken to task by her superior in the next breath), exerting bureaucratese to muddy the waters and shunting him through futile red tapes, and Loach selects a perfect boiling point to show us why the film is titled "I, DANILE BLAKE",....
keep reading my review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks
The real life struggles of real people struggling to make ends meet after the financial crash. This is about a family in desperate situations, who are financially and time poor. He's a hardworking self-employed delivery driver, she's an overstretched care worker. Both very demanding jobs, their lives are hard, and their kids are neglected. A serious story for current times, though there are no references to Brexit or politics generally.
If you've seen 'I, Daniel Blake' then you'll have a good idea what to expect, though this isn't about benefits. This is more about what happens when there are no workers' rights. Recommended.
Well, that's a familiar message to us middle class online shoppers.
How we curse when our delivery man (looking a bit stressed) arrives late.
What we don't know, until now, is perhaps why he's late and the repercussions.
Loach and his usual writer, Paul Laverty, have crafted another slice of life drama out of real delivery man stories, real care worker stories. But the problem with this latest opus is that they have basically lumped all of the worst case scenarios onto one family.
The outcome is, therefore, an almost unbelievable tidal wave of misery. Of course this story is possible but it's too contrived. It's like following the proverbial gambling addict backing red but black coming up time after time after time on his worst ever losing streak.
Add to this Loach's penchant for using under-exposed (or non-professional) actors and he runs the risk of it not coming off. And in this case there are too many misfires from his earnest, but variably talented, cast.
In the lead, Kris Hitchen does a good job of holding the whole thing together, although it's the relationship with his charming daughter (who largely steals the show) Lisa Jane that is the emotional heart of the movie. Sadly his world-weary care-working wife, Abbie, played by Debbie Hollywood fails to match up. She has no previous pedigree and I don't expect she will progress on the back of this, despite a valiant attempt to pull off a difficult role.
I don't intend to spoil this with plot detail but I can tell you this is RELENTLESSLY bleak. To the point of being unbelievable: few in the gig economy can have ALL of this bad luck but I totally understand that many have some.
If only the misery had been doled out to more characters, and if only the acting had been of a universally higher standard this could have been a Loach great.
But it's not.
I, Daniel Blake had few of the faults of this latest outing and all of its strengths.
Saying that, Ken Loach is one of our great polemicists and his voice is vital in our hideous Tory-driven self-centred economy.
Boris will never watch this, and if he does he'll scoff at it. But, then, we scoff at his privilege.
I'm sorry I can't rate this amongst Loach's best, but it deserves to be seen, albeit with a slightly forgiving viewer attitude.
A great director performing at sub-par is nevertheless a great director and I still rate this a 6/10.
Sorry We Missed You is about a middle-class family who go through struggles in their daily life. The father works as a delivery man and the mother is a care worker as we see how it affects their family as a whole.
This movie really tore me apart due to the way it was helmed. Paul Laverty has written a script that creates an incredible amount of rawness to its characters and setting that makes you feel sympathy for them all the way through. I thought the sound design was really good. You heard all the background noise taking place and brings a level of authenticity to the location. When a fight breaks out, there are people talking over one another which really brings out the realism of this movie.
Ken Loach does a brilliant job once again. Like his previous films, this one is intense and hard to watch at times. The way he's shown the living and working conditions of this poor family makes the audience realise how tough it is to survive in the real world. The amount of sacrifices people have to make in order to keep their family intact. Loach portrays all of this in the most grounded and honest manner which I fully respect.
It's hard to believe that the actors in this film don't work in this field as their prime job. That's how terrific all of them were. All of them felt believable in their roles felt like a real family. When it started to become really intense, I understood the pain and suffering they were going through. Even the child performances were good.
The only problem I had was a decision made by the child which felt quite dumb to me but apart from that there wasn't anything else that bothered me.
I'm not sure how others felt but Sorry We Missed You really moved me. The film perfectly captures real life struggles with people without feeling forced and the performances were genuine which brought a lot to the characters. Loach and Laverty did a great job bringing this film to life as a couple of tears did stream down my face throughout the film's entirety. If this movie has released near you, I would urge you to experience this at all costs.
Welcome to Brexit Britain - Boris and Rees Mogg need to see this film and adjust their policies because it sells only Corbyn is in touch with the stress of real every day life - this hard hitting kitchen sink drama tells the story of the reality of trying to work at the bottom of the pile while doing everything possible to support your family with the whole system stacked against you .
All subjects are covered love , drugs , truancy , poverty , debt , despair , exploitation and the trials and desperation of trying to survive in an unstable employment structure when the gig economy is designed to give workers no rights and make employers exploit all the wrongs
The mis en scene , make up , lighting and wardrobe were excellent - you cannot help but to sucked in and feel sympathy for the protagonist and his family as they try their best against everything that's designed to make them fail .
Will it make you cry ? - yes
Will it make you sad ? - no
Although the ending might seem abrupt you feel uplifted that the family are a stronger unit as a result of their trial .
British films are rarely more perfect than this - great acting , great characterisation- what cinema should be
This film could swing an election - love is the key not hate and community is the answer
It might make you think twice about ordering a parcel or two online and get out to the real shops and speak to real people
Go see it
Before the 2008 financial crash, Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and Abbie Turner (Debbie Honeywood) had saved up to buy their own property, but ever since have been living in rented accommodation, with their kids, Seb (Rhys Stone) and Lisa Jane (Katie Proctor.) Ricky takes the bold move to try and establish some independence again, and moves into the self employed market, working as a courier for a parcel company. However, he has actually entered the gig economy, with no guaranteed work, penalties if he misses days and a 'tracker' marking his every move. With Abbie in similarly precarious employment as a carer, their family life and well-being begins to disintegrate.
Although now in the winter of his life and career, and thus least personally affected by the modern day trials and tribulations faced by those of this generation, it's very telling that it is once again the now 83 year old director Ken Loach who has been galvanized into shining a spotlight on the scourge of the current trend of zero hours contracts and the uncertainty and unsustainability they bring. It's hard to believe that a more personal, impassioned cry couldn't come from a younger, more maturing director, but then, maybe there just is no-one to rival the authentic, affecting touch he brings.
Loach once again saturates his film with a gritty, raw realism, that very unforgivingly zooms in on his characters, and the rough, real world they inhabit. There's an odd spark of comic relief from the characters, sharing some coarse humour that reflects the lives they lead, but otherwise it's very much a film to inform and raise awareness, rather than entertain, and so it will struggle to find acceptance from a mainstream audience, much like Loach's previous I, Daniel Blake (and probably every other film he's made), who just want to chew their popcorn and lap up the latest Avengers film.
This is an unflinching depiction of a real life family, the sort of people you might see at work every day, facing a present day crisis that is affecting millions. As some other reviewers have noted, at times it seems like the main character is facing a relentless barrage of bad luck that stretches believability, but then Loach can only focus on one protagonist, and so must cram in everything he needs to. It's still admirable (and, as I say, telling) that he still appears to be the only one who wants to try and shine a light on this kind of thing. ****
It implicitly showcases an intimate and powerful drama about what's going on in people's everyday lives all over the world.
Like most of #KenLoach films, this is also brutally honest and difficult to watch at times. It is showcased with extreme empathy.
It doesn't end on a happy note, there isn't any way for it to do so. It simply highlights that for so many of us the struggle is both real and never ending. The performances are so realistic, it's hard at times to remember you're watching a drama and not a documentary.
Sorry We Missed You is a tender and devastating movie that is a must-see film for anyone who has ever had a crappy job. Probably, everybody would have! 😁
PS: Whenever, you shall see it, please ignore the Brexit that affected England.
This film does not compliment the story it is trying to tell. Some of the actors are noticeably shaky in their roles, as they were in I, Daniel Blake and there is also a few glaring gaps in the mise en scene. I admire some of Ken Loach's films very much; I thought Looking for Eric was a great film and not dissimilar to SWMY, except the cast was far richer and the pacing much more engrossing.
It's no good garnering praise for cinema because of what it is trying to do. Praise should be reserved for cinema that actually succeeds in transporting the viewer into that world and unfortunately SWMY kept reminding me with it's drops in quality that I was watching a pretty bad film.
This film left me utterly speechless, which led me to depart the cinema laughing hysterically, to layer over the fact That I was so shocked at how real every scene of the film was.
(This review is probably not great but I'm just starting, and need practice)