7.9/10
32,612
114 user 232 critic

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

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

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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:

Writer:

(screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,571 ( 76)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 24 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Toni Erdmann (2016)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO's life coach.

Director: Maren Ade
Stars: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn
Paterson (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
Bacalaureat (2016)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Stars: Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus, Lia Bugnar
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A depressed uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham
Elle I (2016)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny
Forushande (2016)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Stars: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Babak Karimi
Moonlight I (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dylan McKiernan ...
Kate Rutter ...
Ann
...
Sheila
Kema Sikazwe ...
Steven Richens ...
Piper
Amanda Payne ...
Employment Support Allowance Assessor
Chris Mcglade ...
At the Sawmill (as Chris McGlade)
...
At the Sawmill
Gavin Webster ...
At the Sawmill
Sammy T. Dobson ...
Specialist Nurse
Mickey Hutton ...
Neighbor with dog
...
Postman
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo, Daniel Blake  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€337,649 (Italy) (23 October 2016)

Gross:

$258,168 (USA) (14 July 2017)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

From the end 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.» 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

Ann: Please listen to me, Dan. It's a huge decision to come off JSA without any other income coming in. Look, it... It could be weeks before your appeal comes through. You see, there's no time limit for a mandatory reconsideration. I've got a time limit. And you might not win. Please, just keep signing on. Get somebody to help you with the online job searches. Otherwise, you could lose everything. Please don't do this. I've seen it before. Good people, honest people, on the street.
Daniel: Thank you, Ann. ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: I, Daniel Blake (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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Unapologetically Political, Openly Moral
21 September 2016 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

After Ken Loach's latest film "I, Daniel Blake" (2016) took home the most prestigious film award of the year, Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this summer, there has been a lot of discussion or at least anticipation of discussion on the film. The Guardian, for one, published a long article where people from all walks of life shared their differing opinions on the film. As a fierce story of social relevance, telling about an ailing carpenter whose life goes to pieces in the vast sea of bureaucracy, "I, Daniel Blake" is bound to be criticized for being didactic and demagogic as it hits the commercial screens. Some will fall in love with the film for its honest authenticity, while others will be put off by its unapologetic directness.

The film begins with the title character, Daniel Blake going through an assessment in the unemployment office after his doctor has deemed him unfit for work due to a heart condition. Unfortunately, Daniel ends up in a paradoxical position, the likes which Kafka could have devised, where he is not concerned unhealthy enough to apply for sickness benefit and has to therefore apply for job seeker's allowance, coercing him into a pointless cycle of searching for jobs he cannot really take. In the middle of this absurd jungle of gray offices and red tapes, Daniel befriends Katie, a single mother of two in a similar situation. Daniel's cardinal sin in the bureaucratic world is his refusal to play by its rules, to fake and to pull the strings where needed.

Loach is known for his simplicity in both style and narrative without ever coming close to minimalism. His simplicity is of a different kind, a simplicity of the heart on the level of the subject matter which is often social by nature. This simplicity gives room for the unfolding of story and character in their natural state which is of the utmost importance for Loach's intentions. At times warm and funny, at others raw and brutal, the story of "I, Daniel Blake" is hard to be dismissed for its authenticity. It will likely speak to most people as do the great realist novels of the 19th century. It is a simple voice with real thought and emotion behind it, saying something of relevance, straight out and loud. While the title of the film might pave way for quasi-libertarian interpretations of Loach's critique of the social benefits system, his intentions could not be clearer to those who have seen the film. The titular character is merely someone to carry the torch of solidarity; to Loach and others, he represents a mass of millions. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that the film "intervenes in the messy, ugly world of poverty with the secular intention of making us see that it really is happening, and in a prosperous nation." This is the simplicity which gives Loach's cinema its moral aura.

Although many may feel put off by the film's direct social message and strong moral pathos, which can feel didactic or even demagogic at times, and it will not find its dearest fan in yours truly either, I think the film deserves acclaim for its integrity. The film does not hide its rhetoric or its message. After all, its "leftist agitation" may not be stranger than the ideology of upper middle class family life propagated by contemporary popular culture. The way I see it, "I, Daniel Blake" is more a personal expression of worry and concern rather than manufactured propaganda with an impersonal agenda. At worst the film might be preachy or sentimental, but at best it is the most authentic thing Ken Loach has done since "My Name Is Joe" (1998), a parallel work in the truest sense of the word. To put it bluntly, I am glad that "Jimmy's Hall" (2014) did not end up being the legacy Loach left for cinema; but "I, Daniel Blake" could very well be just that.


40 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page