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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

R | | Drama | 21 October 2016 (UK)
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2:23 | Trailer
A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself, is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.

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200 ( 146)
Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 15 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Katie
...
...
Daisy
Dylan McKiernan ...
Dylan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Employment Support Allowance Assessor
Jane Birch ...
Librarian
...
Job Centre Floor Manager
Colin Coombs ...
Postman
...
Appeal Receptionist
Stephen Halliday ...
Furniture Dealer
Bryn Jones ...
Police Officer
Viktoria Kay ...
Woman of the House
Mick Laffey ...
Welfare Benefits Advisor
Dan Li ...
Stan Li
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Storyline

A 59 year old carpenter recovering from a heart attack, befriends a single mum and her two kids as they navigate their way through the kafkaesque impersonal benefits system. With equal amounts of humour, warmth and despair. Heartfelt and emotional until the end

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

21 October 2016 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eu, Daniel Blake  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical film debut of Dave Johns. See more »

Goofs

When Daniel is in the benefits office the adviser Ann notices he looks unwell and sits him down and gives Daniel a plastic cup of water. Initially when Daniel gets the cup there are two or three cups stick together, as sometimes happens, the film then cuts away and then back and Daniels cup has become just one plastic cup. See more »

Connections

Featured in Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailing By
Composed by Ronald Binge
Performed by 'The Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra'
(1963)
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User Reviews

 
A wake up call for Tory Britain. Brilliantly satirises our hateful benefits system.
22 October 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ken Loach does it again.

If you know Ken Loach (and importantly his writing partner Paul Laverty) you'll know I, Daniel Blake.

It's a nightmare.

A total nightmare.

Life on poverty line Britain that is.

And Loach hammers this home with gusto.

He chooses Newcastle as his latest political landscape, partly because "it's grim up North" but also because, in my experience, Geordies are the salt of the earth; kind, lovable folks. And this is the main emotional driver of this nightmare.

Daniel Blake is caught in a trap.

A bureaucratic hell populated by "computer says no" mini Hitlers occupying mainly minor roles in the Jobseeker hell that is Tory Britain. In a bid to out 'scroungers' the system has eaten itself and is spitting out vulnerable pitiful fodder like Daniel (played deeply sympathetically by comedian Dave Johns. He'll never win an Oscar but this part was made for him) and the lovable but deeply vulnerable Katie (played equally well by Hayley Squires - Call the Midwife).

He's had a heart attack and his doctors say he can't work but the Benefits Police say he has to go on jobseeker allowance and look for work or lose all entitlement to any money AT ALL.

It's farcical.

She's moved from a women's hostel in London because she can't afford a flat in London with her two children (one slightly miscast as a rather posh daughter, Daisy). She's having the same problems, only hers start from a tinpot Hitler chucking her out of the Job Centre for being late for her appointment.

They bond. He helps her. She helps him. It's grim but deeply affecting. We then follow their shared struggle.

In many ways this movie is like a Ken Loach Primer. It has all his usual trademarks and the 'working class people are good' message is laid on way too thickly.

But.

And it's a big but they are in a profoundly believable real-life drama and I found myself in tears (of collective shame?) three times during it.

It certainly makes the reality of food banks in Britain very, very meaningful. I won't pass a collection point again if my conscience holds up.

Everything that is good about Loach is in this film. In parts it's laugh out loud funny (but it's laughs of derision at our State). In parts it's deeply moving, even though some of the plot is verging on the ridiculous.

But who cares. Ken Loach holds a mirror up to our frankly DISGUSTING society and mocks it.

But he mocks it with the most vicious of venom.

It feels real. Really real.

It's a must see.


27 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Congratulations conservatives! This is the world you created TheCroppyBoy
How real is Daniel's situation? rubenm
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Whats the point? philipfoxe
Perspective from a civil servant tkksilvergun
why critics hated this film after it won the palme d'or. avcfernandez
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