Sorry We Missed You (2016): Ken Loach’s Working Class Family Melodrama

Ken Loach directed Sorry We Missed You, a sentimental working-class melodrama, written by Paul Laverty and produced by Rebecca O’Brien.

It competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Despite having a broken arm in a sling, Loach promoted the film, claiming it would be his final work to compete at the festival.

Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and his family are fighting uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash. Ricky, who has no education or training, is given a chance when hired to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver under the supervision of tough boss, Maloney.

In order to afford a van for the job, Ricky convinces his wife Abbie to sell the family car (used by her as a home care nurse). The stress of the new job proves to be too great for Ricky–he’s  under pressure to make deliveries in time, and there are fines if he is late or makes mistakes. Abbie also finds her work more demanding without car; she’s also upset by the lack of time she spends with her patients due to demanding schedule.

The stress of both Ricky and Abbie is increased by their son Seb (Rhys Stone) who skips school and often gets into trouble with graffiti. After an argument, Seb tags over the family portraits during the night. The next morning Ricky can’t find the keys to his van and blames Seb. His daughter Liza Jane (Katie Proctor) later admits that she hid the keys, blaming Ricky’s new job for the family’s problems.

Back at work, Ricky is robbed and brutally assaulted while making deliveries. While Ricky is at hospital, Maloney informs him about fines he would have to pay as his scanner was destroyed during the robbery.

After the assault, Seb warms up and re-joins the family. The film ends as the injured Ricky drives off to work, breaking into tears as his family beg him not to leave.

Kris Hitchen as Ricky Turner
Debbie Honeywood as Abby Turner
Rhys Stone as Seb Turner
Katie Proctor as Liza Jane Turner
Ross Brewster as Maloney
Charlie Richmond as Henry
Julian Ions as Freddie
Sheila Dunkerley as Rosie
Maxie Peters as Robert
Christopher John Slater as Ben
Heather Wood as Mollie
Alberto Dumba as Harpoon
Natalia Stonebanks as Roz
Jordan Collard as Dodge
Dave Turner as Magpie
Stephen Clegg as Policeman
Darren Jones as Council worker
Nikki Marshall as Traffic warden
Linda E Greenwood as Driver
Linda Wright as A&E receptionist
Mary Shearer as Woman at Door