Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach [8/10]

Never miss a Ken Loach film, I’ve always said, and “Sorry We Missed You” is a coruscating film which packs an emotional wallop. This time Loach takes on the franchise-style gig economy, focusing on Ricky, a northern English construction worker who enslaves himself to a package delivery firm under usurious conditions, and his embattled social worker wife, Abbie. Throw in two children, one of them a rebellious graffiti’ing teenage boy, grind out the ruthlessly programmed strictures of Ricky’s new job, factor in Ricky’s temper and Abbie’s saintliness, and Loach cooks up a horrifying plot of enfolding disasters. Kris Hitchen is superb as Ricky, Debbie Honeywood is understated but powerful, Rhys Stone brilliantly portrays the son, and Ross Brewster makes for an absolutely believable monster boss. As ever, Loach provides a forensic scene-by-scene dissection of the courier business without burdening the viewer. I was riveted even though the gloom is unrelenting. Is Sorry We Missed You a highlight of Loach’s long and distinguished career? I’m willing to bet it is.

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