From his conversations, it is clear that Ivan is an honourable man (“the best man in England”). On his windscreen are stickers supporting the Prince’s Trust, Help for Heroes and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Ivan looks a little like a ship’s captain, with his beard and cable-knit sweater, and in his car he is like a sailor navigating the rough seas of his work and personal life. Although we only see Ivan onscreen, it would be unfair to call this film a single hander, as Ivan is constantly on the phone throughout the film’s 85-minute duration.
There are fine performances from his collocutors, including Ruth Wilson as Katrina, Olivia Colman as Bethan and Andrew Scott as Donal, who provides much needed light relief as Ivan’s cider-loving feckless foreman. This is a groundbreaking and beautifully rendered film, with Tom Hardy in brilliant form. Like a perfect storm, all the elements have come together in perfect unity: screenplay, direction and performance. Our hope is that this good and decent sailor can make it through the storm. (x)