“Sorry We Missed You” Movie Review

Photo Credit: Joss Barratt
Master director Ken Loach triumphs in British realism 57 years into his career.
Rushing into the Imperial Theatre, hundreds of moviegoers are bustling to find their seats. Everyone coming from somewhere, fitting their schedule to make things work, until they sit down to watch this movie, which they slowly realize is becoming more of a reflection into their own lives rather than an escape. 
Sorry We Missed You (dir. Ken Loach, 2019) portrays the Turners, a working-class family in Northern England trying to get by. The Turner’s, like many others in their community, were affected by an economic crash. This forced them to sell their house, move to Newcastle, where both parents are seen struggling to keep a steady job. We catch our family right in the middle of their seemingly endless economic hardships. The unemployed father Ricky Turner was just offered a job as a delivery driver, while the overworked mother Abby Turner works as a travelling home-care nurse for elderly people. Their two children absorb the ripple effects from their parents’ stress; we find eldest Seb lashing out and little Liza Jane internalizing everything she witnesses. As the film goes on, life for the Turner’s becomes increasingly complicated. With the family working as a system, one problem is interlocked with the other; meaning that if one family member suffers, they all do. 
Ken Loach directs this story with finesse and makes it painstakingly realistic. With all the characters feeling like eternal family figures, one immediately finds themselves within them. Loach does not shy away from focusing on the nitty gritty drama of real life. Since the beginning of his career with films like Kes (1969), he was never afraid to film things as they really were. Seeing the Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves (dir. Vittorio De Sica, 1948) inspired him to show real problems that affected real people and always kept his films up to date with current times. Loach found success throughout the entirety of his career and is one of the few filmmakers in history to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes on two separate occasions. 
At the age of 83, Ken Loach thrives with a film that portrays truth, hard working values and the holes in the system that leaves many of us forgotten. A must see!
Lisa Rupnik is a full time student at Concordia in Therapeutic Recreation, a part time arts and crafts teacher, and lover of foreign films.