Tough gig

Canning Gazette - - FILM -

DI­REC­TOR and writer duo Ken Loach and Paul Laverty have turned their fly-on-the-wall film­mak­ing style to the gig econ­omy in Sorry We Missed You.

The Turner fam­ily liv­ing in England’s north­east have been strug­gling for money since the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis caused dad Ricky (Kris Hitchen) to lose his job as a builder.

He is con­vinced that his new job with a par­cel de­liv­ery com­pany will turn things around, though his wife Ab­bie (Deb­bie Honey­wood) is more cau­tious, es­pe­cially as to be able to af­ford to buy his de­liv­ery van they must sell the car she uses for her job as a home care nurse.

Ricky is told he is not an em­ployee of the com­pany but a fran­chisee, which makes it sound like he has own­er­ship and flex­i­bil­ity over his work.

In re­al­ity, his life be­comes dic­tated by a small ma­chine used to scan in parcels and from then on tracks and times his ev­ery move un­til they are de­liv­ered.

When son Seb (Rhys Stone) be­gins get­ting into trou­ble at school, Ricky can­not find any­one to cover his route to al­low him to take time off, mean­ing he ei­ther in­curs a fine he can­not af­ford or be­comes the ab­sent fa­ther he was de­ter­mined never to be.

Loach is known for us­ing ‘non-pro­fes­sional’ ac­tors and while this at times leads to a stilt­ed­ness in per­for­mance, it also en­hances the blunt pre­sen­ta­tion of the hard­ships real peo­ple face ev­ery­day while sim­ply try­ing to get by.

It is in turns both heart­break­ing and heart­warm­ing.

Kris Hitchen as Ricky and Katie Proc­tor as Liza Jane in Sorry We Missed You.

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