Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You makes for a satisfying slice of life before the story expands beyond its modest reach.
Reminiscent of the stripped-down aesthetic of last year’s Colewell or this year’s Rosie, Loach’s drama has an appealing, simplistic dynamic that is performed authentically by its cast of relatively inexperienced actors. A Newcastle family, still reeling from economical setbacks, adapts to a change in pace as Dad, Ricky (Kris Hitchen), shifts into a new job as a local courier and Mom, Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), rolls with the punches as a loyal PSW. While Ricky learns awfully fast about the game of hardball his aggressive boss Maloney (Ross Brewster) plays, Abbie experiences her own demanding strains from tight job requirements
The stress from the lack of employment empathy chips away at the tempers of Ricky and Abbie. And Ricky, trying to keep his cool, begins to deflect his anger out on his son Seb (Rhys Stone), a young troublemaker who could use an inspiring figure to look up to. Meanwhile, young daughter Liza Jae (Katie Proctor) tries to keep the peace.
The low-key presentation during the first half of Sorry We Missed You matches the performances well. I also appreciated the choice Loach made to shoot most of the movie in real environments that naturally give off their own bustling buzz. There’s something really fascinating about watching actors compete with the scenery that adds even more enjoyable believability to the film. However, the volume gets to be problematic during the latter, much busier half. When characters are more vocal about their boiling frustrations, Sorry We Missed You starts to sound like a run-on tantrum that only brings attention to how stiff and unrealized the movie may actually be.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie