Where to watch I Am Ruth, the powerful Kate Winslet drama that will spark conversations about social media

If you're wondering where to watch I Am Ruth then we have you covered with what you need to know about this thought-provoking film

Where to watch I Am Ruth revealed. Starring Kate Winslet.
(Image credit: Joss Barratt/Channel 4)

Anyone who hasn’t yet discovered where to watch I Am Ruth has been missing out on heart-breaking performances and deeply personal storytelling.

With incredibly important themes, I Am Ruth focuses on the mental health crisis affecting so many young people and tells the story of mother and daughter Ruth and Freya. Played by real-life mother and daughter Kate Winslet and Mia Threapleton I Am Ruth utilizes stellar improvisation to bring this story to life. And though it might not be a comforting and light-hearted film like the best Christmas movies on Netflix, this poignant Dominic Savage film is well worth watching. 

Here we reveal where to watch I Am Ruth now, whether it’s part of a series and what its plot is for anyone who hasn’t seen this new Channel 4 drama…

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Where to watch I Am Ruth starring Kate Winslet

If you’ve yet to see Kate Winslet and Mia Threapleton’s stand-out performances and have been wondering where to watch I Am Ruth then Channel 4’s on-demand service, All 4 (opens in new tab), is the place to head if you’re a UK-based viewer. Sadly, if you live in the United States you won’t be able to watch I Am Ruth via All 4 and it’s not yet known if there’ll be a US air date announced in due course. 

And if you’re on vacation abroad when you want to watch I Am Ruth then you also won't be able to watch the show as you normally would at home, thanks to regional restrictions. Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching this hit drama. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”

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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch I Am Ruth online. 

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Is I Am Ruth a series? 

Although I Am Ruth is part of a series, it’s not a multi-episode drama in itself. Instead this Channel 4 feature-length film is part of the wider I Am Series which is an anthology series like The White Lotus is. I Am Ruth follows on from the likes of I Am Maria starring The Crown’s Lesley Manville, I Am Hannah starring Marvel’s Gemma Chan and I Am Nicola starring Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure. 

The I Am Series was created by Dominic Savage and it started in 2019. It tells one-off stories that are female-led and have strong improvisational elements to them. Each film’s subject matter is incredibly thought-provoking and deeply personal. 

What’s the I Am Ruth plot and is it based on a true story? 

For those who aren’t quite sure what lies in store for them in the I Am Ruth plot, this poignant, and at points harrowing, feature-length drama explores the impact of social media. Starring Kate Winslet as working single mother Ruth and Mia Threapleton as her daughter Freya, I Am Ruth shows the pair struggling to connect with each other and Freya retreating into herself. 

The film goes on to show how the pressures of social media are having a devastating effect on Freya’s mental health. Meanwhile, Ruth comes to believe her daughter’s obsession with social media is unhealthy but feels powerless when it comes to how best to help her. 

Kate Winslet as Ruth and Mia Threapleton as Freya in I Am Ruth

(Image credit: Joss Barratt/Channel 4)

Although it’s not based directly on a specific true story, the situation Ruth and Freya are in could be seen to mirror real-life issues of young people struggling with mental health as a result of social media and their parents’ struggles to comprehend what’s going on. Kate Winslet also opened up to RadioTimes.com (opens in new tab) and other press at an event and explained that since the dialogue in I Am Ruth is unscripted, she felt inspired by conversations she’d heard or stories she’d been told. 

"I've been a parent to teenagers and I've also been on the periphery of friends raising teenagers who have gone through some absolutely horrific things,” the Hollywood star explained. “So a lot of the conversations that you hear, and even specific words that come out of my mouth, are direct from things that friends have said to me.”

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She went on to reflect upon a particular scene in I Am Ruth and how relatable she found it to her own life.

Kate said, "There's a scene when Ruth sits on the bed and she says, 'I just don't know who I am, I'm really struggling, I don't like myself, I don't look forward to anything.' That is literally a conversation that I had with a very close friend a couple of years ago. And I wanted to honour those stories, and along with Mia, we wanted to tell a story of our time, without preaching."

The Oscar-Award winner also expressed hope that with I Am Ruth and the difficult issues and themes it focuses on they can spark important conversations. 

“Hopefully we're creating an avenue for conversation, and being able to say to people, ‘I didn't know what to do either. It's alright. It's alright.' We just wanted to tell a story that felt timely and visceral and truthful, even though obviously there are parts of it that are very hard to watch,” Kate declared.

Who’s in the I Am Ruth cast? 

The I Am Ruth cast is made up of both professional actors and non-actors and several of them are connected to lead star Kate Winslet. One of Kate Winslet’s children, Mia Threapleton, is in I Am Ruth playing her on-screen daughter Freya. Kate herself revealed the connections many of the non-actors who appear in the film have to her family too. 

“Dominic likes to work with real people and real relationships, and in some of his previous I Ams, actually in most of them, there was often some overlap where the leading actresses have actually suggested a very old friend of theirs for a role and that person suddenly appears,” Kate shared. 

Mia Threapleton as Freya

(Image credit: Joss Barratt/Channel 4 )

She continued, "And he likes to work with real people, so the guy who plays [Freya's] teacher, he is actually Mia’s old teacher. His name’s Simon and he’s lovely, he was her English and Drama teacher. I just phoned him and I said, ‘Simon, I’ve got this suggestion.' He said, ‘Oh god, I can’t do that,' [and] I said, ‘Yes you can. It’s just a day, it'll be great.' And he was just terrific."

Other cast members include Joe Anders as Ruth’s son Billy, Line of Duty’s Royce Pierreson as Miguel, her trainer and Doctor Who's Seroca Davis as her friend Paula. Mia’s old teacher Simon plays Freya’s teacher in the film and real-life doctor Suzy plays a doctor here too. 

Where was I Am Ruth filmed? 

Like its setting, I Am Ruth is understood to have been filmed in the UK. However, unlike other film and show locations like those where Shetland was filmed that are so obviously the Shetland Islands, it’s not immediately clear where in the UK more specifically I Am Ruth was shot. Until the show’s creator or cast members confirm the exact filming locations, fans will just have to speculate which area they think the powerful drama was filmed.  

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.