7.9/10
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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

R | | Drama | 9 June 2017 (USA)
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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.

Directors:

Ken Loach, Laura Obiols

Writer:

Paul Laverty (screenplay)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 26 wins & 34 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 ... 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:

An Emotional Gut Punch! 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, 4 June 2017

Gross USA:

$260,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,793,051
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 Food bank and a few of its actual volunteers from Vice's video Shy Bairns Get Nowt: Food Poverty in the UK 2014 are used in the food bank scene. See more »

Goofs

Security Guards in all Job Centres are provided by G4S, but the security guards shown here do not wear G4S uniforms. 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 »

Crazy Credits

A very special thanks to workers within the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] and PCS [Public and Commercial Services] Union who provided us with invaluable information but who must remain anonymous. [Government edict that public employees in these departments cannot speak publicly about their work.] See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cash Trapped: Episode #2.13 (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

 
A raw and honest look at ow the British system fails it's people
23 October 2016 | by SpoilerAlertReviewsSee all my reviews

Ken Loach is a name I always recognise but then struggle to remember any of his work. I think, "ah good, it's by Ken Loach" and then "what's he done again? Oh Kes!" But Kes was 47 years ago and shamefully, I'm not familiar with any of his films since then. One conclusion from this realisation is that Loach has a strong reputation as a filmmaker and this was my long awaited reunion.

We follow Daniel Blake, a middle-aged carpenter who's taken a few recent knocks, one of which is suffering a heart-attack and deemed not able to return to work. It's a position no one would want to be in, forced to sacrifice your own health or lose everything you have worked so hard for.

We witness the hurdles that seem purposely put there to hinder payments, speaking from personal experience I can relate to this situation to a degree. How are people such as Daniel Blake suppose to survive, or better still, have a good life they are suppose to be able to live.

It's a harsh reality on how parts of the British system fails it's people and proof that there's no real incentive to do things by the book. Having been in a similar situation myself, skirting the unemployment line getting advise from people who have no ambitious or understanding of what I wanted to do.

Taking this on a more personal level, I quit a stressful position last year in the hopes of pursuing my own dream of being an artist and writer. Having to sign agreement that I would spend a number of hours trying to find work and having to provide evidence of doing so each fortnight would grant me the universal credit that I never actually received. I actually had a good case worker, as everyplace of work has good people, but equally there are those that can't see beyond, much like what is portrayed in this story. Though, instead of supporting me in trying to be something I both enjoy and apparently good at, they attempted to find me similar stressful jobs that I left for my own sanity, wanting to place me back amongst the wolves.

Dave Johns is exceptional as Daniel Blake, emitting the boiling frustrations of the soul- destroying turn of events, right to the very end. Hayley Squires' Katie is short of brilliant too, displaying the tremendous pressure when faced with these kind of tribulations. Though, the acting from the rest of the supporting cast is less desirable, it's forgivable.

It's a raw, honest and emotional look at the suffering and poor way of life some unfortunate people have to contend with in Great Britain. It's compelling, invoking and upsetting, showing the great lengths and risks people go through in order to maintain their self dignity. It's certainly a film that boasts Loach's credibility.

Running Time: 8 The Cast: 7 Performance: 7 Direction: 7 Story: 8 Script: 8 Creativity: 8 Soundtrack: 6 Job Description: 10 The Extra Bonus Points: 10 for the difficult subject matter and perfect portrayal. Would I buy the Bluray?: yes

79% 8/10


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