Sorry We Missed You – film of the week

Here are the three top films this week.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 9:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 12:43 pm
Debbie Honeywood as Abbie in Sorry We Missed You. Picture: PA Photo/Entertainment One.

Sorry We Missed you (15)

Shopping on the high street continues to experience a steady decline as online retailers woo more of our hard-earned cash.

However, there are hidden costs to the consumer nirvana of casually swiping or tapping a finger to complete everyday purchases.

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The battle for profits has shifted from storefronts to the roads where couriers fiercely compete for corporate accounts with GPS-tracked drivers, same-day and next-day delivery, and the promise of hourly slots so customers know when to be at home to sign for a parcel.

Consumers are kings or queens and a small army of men and women do our bidding on traffic-clogged streets where every second counts towards performance targets.

Director Ken Loach and long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty refuse to turn a blind eye in a gritty slice-of-life drama, which confidently delivers inner turmoil and desperation to a married couple in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Misery has always enjoyed Loach's company and there are some desperately bleak moments here.

Yet Laverty finds glimmers of joy in the gloom like a father and daughter bonding on a delivery route or a family curry night.

Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and wife Abby (Debbie Honeywood) are barely keeping their heads above water as they provide for belligerent teenage son Seb (Rhys Stone) and younger daughter Lisa Jane (Katie Proctor).

Despite Abby's misgivings, Ricky sells the family car to invest in a delivery truck franchise that could turn his fortunes around.

Long hours and penalties for late delivery of online orders keep Ricky on the road, while Lisa Jane is forced to take the bus to carry out her duties as a caregiver in the local community.

When Seb plays truant to spray paint graffiti with friends, the fabric of family life tears at the seams and Ricky and Abby are faced with agonising choices.

Sorry We Missed You confirms Loach as a socially and politically conscious standard bearer for the working class, who believes in the power of cinema to prick consciences and meet inequality with fiery rhetoric.

Dramatic tension intensifies in the film's final 15 minutes when two generations violently butt heads and looking back in anger could distract from safely navigating the road ahead.

Released November 1.

After The Wedding (12A)

Love and marriage go together like a startled horse and runaway carriage in writer-director Bart Freundlich's remake of Danish director Susanne Bier's Oscar-nominated 2006 drama.

Resetting the action from Copenhagen to New York, After The Wedding is enslaved to a manipulative plot that feels just as contrived more than a decade later, despite a neat gender swap of central roles. While the original film explored fractious family dynamics through the eyes of two men, Freundlich chooses to glimpse heartache from the perspective of Julianne Moore's corporate trailblazer and Michelle Williams' do-gooder, whose fates collide at the titular nuptials.

Released November 1.

Doctor Sleep (15)

Based on Stephen King's 2013 novel, Doctor Sleep is a horror thriller continuing the story of characters from The Shining, who bear the deep psychological scars of their experiences at the Overlook Hotel.

More than 40 years after his father Jack (Jack Nicholson) relinquished his sanity, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) searches for inner peace.

Unfortunately, the nightmares of the past resurface when a teenager called Abra (Kyliegh Curran) makes contact.

A cult known as The True Knot led by the malevolent Rose The Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) feeds off these psychic powers, believing the deaths of the young light a path to immortality.

Out now.