It's a Free World . . . | Chicago Reader

It's a Free World . . .

Writer Paul Laverty and director Ken Loach have produced some powerful dramas—My Name Is Joe, Bread and Roses, Sweet Sixteen—but this 2007 feature doesn't compare with them despite its timely subject, the exploitation of illegal aliens. Newcomer Kierston Wareing is strong as the lead character, an unscrupulous but not entirely unsympathetic single mother who loses her job at a London employment agency and then partners with a flatmate (Juliet Ellis) to open her own such establishment. But Loach and Laverty's didactic side ultimately becomes obtrusive, even as they challenge our identification with the heroine. I emerged from this story feeling sadder and wiser but was never fully engaged. 93 min.

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