What is I Am Ruth about? Kate Winslet movie explained

Daisy Phillipson
Kate Winslet and Mia Threapleton in I Am Ruth

I Am Ruth, the compelling drama movie starring Kate Winslet, is the talk of the town after cleaning up at the 2023 BAFTA TV awards – so, here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

Kate Winslet is a tour de force in the acting realm, having built an illustrious career by embracing roles across all genres and scales. She is able to transition from huge blockbuster films such as Titanic and Avatar 2, to smaller independent projects like Little Children and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Today we’re here to talk about her latest film, I Am Ruth, a compelling drama that looks at the dangers of social media and the bond between mother and daughter. At this year’s BAFTA TV ceremony, not only did I Am Ruth earn the title of the Best Single Drama, but Winslet also bagged the Best Leading Actress accolade for her performance. 

With so much hype about the film following its epic win, here’s everything you need to know about I Am Ruth. 

What is I Am Ruth about?

I Am Ruth is a two-hour, standalone entry to Channel 4’s anthology series I Am…, a collection of dramas created by filmmaker Dominic Savage which center on women and their perspectives on life. Each episode focuses on a different theme, with I Am Ruth taking on social media addiction, mental health, body image, and the relationship between mother and daughter. 

Check out the trailer below: 

As per the description of I Am Ruth, Kate Winslet’s latest movie: “The fictional storyline for I Am Ruth was developed and co-authored by Dominic Savage and Kate Winslet, who together have conceived a story for our times about the endemic mental health crisis affecting young people.

“The film offers an honest and authentic portrayal of a mother and daughter’s increasingly strained relationship. Winslet stars as Ruth, a loving and concerned mother who witnesses her teenage daughter Freya retreating into herself as she becomes more and more consumed by the pressures of social media.”

In the press release for the film, Savage explained that he thinks that while I Am Ruth will resonate with everyone, it will particularly for parents and teenagers who are experiencing these struggles today. 

“In many ways, everyone will recognize the difficulties portrayed in the film between Ruth and Freya,” he said. “But also there are so many people who will relate to the mental health crisis that is depicted in the film as well. Particularly in these times. 

“So many people, young and old, are experiencing difficulties in life that are affecting their mental health. This film shows a particular aspect that so many teenagers are susceptible to.”

I Am Ruth cast: Who’s in it?

The cast for I Am Ruth includes:

  • Kate Winslet as Ruth
  • Mia Threapleton as Freya
  • Joe Anders as Billy
  • Seroca Davis as Paula
  • Royce Pierreson as Miguel
  • Simon Kingsley-Pallant as Simon
  • Suzy Charlton as Doctor
  • Laverne Antrobus as Colleague

Fun fact: Mia Threapleton and Joe Anders, who play Ruth’s children Freya and Billy, are both Winslet’s kids in real life too. 

Speaking about what it was like working with her daughter, who took on the other lead role in I Am Ruth, Winslet said: “Everything was very blurry in terms of what was real and what wasn’t, and whether we were acting or whether we weren’t. 

“We are playing characters, these people aren’t us and this isn’t our story. But for sure, one can’t help but draw on personal experience here and there, whether that’s your own stuff or something you’ve gone through with a friend or a family member. 

“It was really staggering actually how alarmingly free Mia and I were able to be, which I hadn’t imagined. My instinct to take care of her had to go away because I knew I had to let her be exposed and hurting and struggling, and that was quite difficult.”

Adding to the conversation, Threapleton explained: “Because of the nature of the type of project, there is no dialogue to have as a base to work from, so a lot of what was being created was completely based on what the other was putting out. 

“The fact that she is actually my mother, I feel that really helped in a way because the chemistry, the connection, the emotional bond between us as a mother and daughter who are very close to each other, was already there.”

Is I Am Ruth worth watching?

I Am Ruth has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score thanks to its compelling and poignant story, important and topical themes, and standout performances from Winslet and Threapleton.

Like the rest of the I Am… series, it’s not an easy watch, but an important one that will move you and make you think about some of the issues facing modern society. 

Of the many positive reviews, the Financial Times wrote: “Kate Winslet gives what may well be the best small screen performance of the year in the arresting drama I Am Ruth.”

Elsewhere, The Times said: “This was a fine piece of drama that many parents will have watched in miserable recognition.”

Adding to the conversation, The Guardian commented: “Both Winslet and her real-life daughter, Mia Threapleton, are brilliant in Dominic Savage’s film – whose tale of an emotional family standoff is full of malevolent beauty.”

I Am Ruth and the rest of the I Am… series are available to stream on Channel 4 now. If you want to know how to watch them outside of the UK, head here. And you can check out our other TV and Movie hubs below:

The Boys Season 4 | Stranger Things Season 5 | Severance Season 2 | The Witcher Season 3 | Harry Potter TV show | House of the Dragon Season 2 | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 | Fast X | Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse | The Flash | Indiana Jones 5 | Barbie | Blue Beetle | Extraction 2 | The Night Agent Season 2