Directed by: Steven Knight
Written by: Steven Knight
Produced by: Paul Webster Guy Heeley
Other cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Bill Milner
Release date: 18 April 2014 (UK)
Premiere date: 17 January 2014 (US)
Running time: 85 minutes
Leaving the construction site on the eve of a major project, construction manager Ivan Locke receives news that sends him driving the two hours from Birmingham to London, but even further from the life he once knew. Making the decision that he has to make, he then calls his wife, his sons, his co-workers and boss telling them the secret that he is bearing and trying to keep his job and family intact. But even more importantly, he will have to face himself and the choices he has made.
The evening before he must supervise a large concrete pour in Birmingham (the largest non-nuclear facility, non-military concrete pour in European history), construction foreman Ivan Locke learns that Bethan, a colleague from a job in Croydon with whom he had a one-night stand seven months before (which resulted in her becoming pregnant), has gone into premature labour. Despite his job responsibilities and although his wife and sons are eagerly awaiting his arrival home to watch an important football match, Locke decides to drive to London to be with Bethan during childbirth. Locke never forgave his father for abandoning him as a child, and he is determined not to make the same mistake, even though he has no relationship with, nor any particular feelings for, Bethan.
Over the course of the one and a half-hour drive from Birmingham to London, Locke holds a total of 36 phone calls with: his boss Gareth; his backup colleague Donal; Katrina, wife of 15 years, to confess his infidelity; his sons, Eddie and Sean, who call him separately with updates on the match and (eventually) the worrisome breakdown of their mother; St Mary’s maternity unit medical personnel, Sister Margaret then Halil Gullu, who are working with Bethan through some troubling complications; the council head, Cassidy, and local police authority, PC Davids, required for the road closures needed to allow the 225+ concrete trucks to properly access the site; and with Bethan to reassure her during her labour. During these calls, he is fired from his job, banned from his house by his wife, and asked by his older son to please return home. He coaches his assistant Donal through preparing the pour despite some major setbacks, and has imaginary conversations with his dead father, whom he envisions (unseen onscreen) as a passenger in the car; he berates his father for abandoning Locke’s family, and vows he will not repeat that mistake. When he is close to the hospital, Bethan calls to share the cooing of the baby, having had a successful birth.