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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

R | | Drama | 9 June 2017 (USA)
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2:23 | Trailer

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After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

Director:

Ken Loach

Writer:

Paul Laverty (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,535 ( 334)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 25 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Johns ... Daniel Blake
Hayley Squires ... Katie
Briana Shann ... Daisy
Dylan McKiernan Dylan McKiernan ... Dylan (as Dylan Phillip McKiernan)
Kate Rutter Kate Rutter ... Ann
Sharon Percy ... Sheila
Kema Sikazwe Kema Sikazwe ... China
Steven Richens Steven Richens ... Piper
Amanda Payne Amanda Payne ... Employment Support Allowance Assessor
Chris Mcglade Chris Mcglade ... At the Sawmill (as Chris McGlade)
Shaun Prendergast ... At the Sawmill
Gavin Webster Gavin Webster ... At the Sawmill
Sammy T. Dobson Sammy T. Dobson ... Specialist Nurse
Mickey Hutton Mickey Hutton ... Neighbour with dog
Colin Coombs ... Postman
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Storyline

A 59 year old carpenter recovering from a heart attack befriends a single mother and her two kids as they navigate their way through the impersonal, Kafkaesque benefits system. With equal amounts of humor, warmth and despair, the journey is heartfelt and emotional until the end.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Magnificent! One of Loach's very best. Demands to be seen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Belgium

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo, Daniel Blake See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,682, 2 June 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$258,168, 14 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in chronological order. Lead actress Hayley Squires was not given the entire script to read before filming. She only was given fragments as accompanying scenes were shot. 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 »

Quotes

Amanda the Health Care Professional: Good morning, Mr Blake. My name's Amanda. I've got a couple of questions here for you today to establish your eligibility for Employment Support Allowance. It won't take up much of your time. Could I just ask firstly, can you walk more than 50 metres unassisted by any other person?
Daniel: Yes.
Amanda the Health Care Professional: Okay... Can you raise either arm as if to put something in your top pocket?
Daniel: I've filled this in already on your 52-page form.
Amanda the Health Care Professional: Yeah, I can see that you have but, unfortunately, I couldn't make out what you had ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailing By
(1963)
Composed by Ronald Binge
Performed by The Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra as The Perry/Gardner Orchestra
Conducted by Ronald Binge
Licensed courtesy of Mozart Edition (Great Britain) Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best film I have seen this year.
3 November 2016 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

After seeing "I, Daniel Blake" there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Ken Loach isn't just the best director to have come out of Britain in the last 50 years but one of only a small handful of great directors still working today. Of course, his films are not merely 'entertainments'; he is the most unashamedly political director there is and "I, Daniel Blake" is his most unashamedly political film, certainly since "Cathy Come Home". It is also possibly his best.

Once again the writer is Paul Laverty who was worked with Loach numerous times in the past, (theirs is the among the greatest of all cinematic partnerships), and his superb script cuts to the bone. As someone who has sat on both sides of a Benefits Office counter I can honestly say that no-one strikes a false note here. Loach is famous for working with non-professionals or largely unknown actors, (Carol White, a fresh face when she made "Cathy Come Home", David Bradley in "Kes", Crissy Rock in "Ladybird Ladybird"), and "I, Daniel Blake" is no different.

The title character is played by stand-up comic Dave Johns and the young, single mother he befriends is Haley Squires. Add in an extraordinary cast of British character players and you have a film that oozes a documentary-like realism from every pore. Of course, at times it is virtually unwatchable. This is a film about victims and the appalling bureaucracy that sees them slip through the net. You could say it is a film about the failure of the Welfare State. Unlike "Cathy Come Home" however, I can't see it touching the hearts and minds of our present Tory Government which surely is shameful. Brexit, we have been told, is about taking back control but control of what; an appallingly defunct system where to care or show feeling is almost a sackable offence? The film was rightly applauded at the screening I attended and is the best I have seen this year.


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