After his 2016 heartbreaking Palme d’Or I, Daniel Blake British filmmaker Ken Loach is back at it again with Sorry We Missed You. Like the vast majority of the director’s ‘kitchen sink’ realist film, it is nearly the opposite of a “feel-good movie,” so emotional viewers should know that they will have to brace for impact as this 2019 film is the kind that can rip your heart out. On the other hand, viewers tired of waiting for changes, or in a “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” mood, should know that the film will probably make them angrier about all the injustices exposed. (so more of a “feel angry kind of movie”!)
Sorry We Missed You is a powerful film about a few days in the lives of the Turners—Ricky (Kris Hitchen), Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), their teen Seb (Rhys Stone) and his younger sister Lisa Jane (Katie Proctor)—and how a supposedly new professional opportunity turned into a series of unfortunate events. The film starts with Ricky exhaustively listing the very many temporary jobs, mostly manual labor. “I’ve done it all!” he jokes, and right off the bat, it sets the tone as Ricky makes the whole thing sounds funny, but it is a terribly sad situation.
“…Ricky will have to take all the risks and the company…will reap all the rewards.”
After a dubious speech by his future “boss” Maloney (Ross Brewster, who provides few of the rare “comical” scenes), he is offered the job of an independent contractor/self-employed delivery driver. Ricky technically gets to be “his own boss,” but from Maloney’s pitch, we can tell that this status means Ricky will have to take all the risks and the company – that he does not work for, BUT with! – will reap all the rewards. Thus Ricky will have to comply with all the unreasonable, borderline illegal rules and forget his worker’s rights (including sick/paid leave).
In addition, the intensity of the delivery job is sucking the life out of Ricky. As expected, with the pressure of workload and vicious conditions, Ricky is mentally and physically drained. He comes home wrecked, barely able to stay awake, or socialize with his wife and children.
"…how a supposedly new professional opportunity turned into a series of unfortunate events."