Rent I, Daniel Blake (2016)

4.0 of 5 from 799 ratings
1h 36min
Rent I, Daniel Blake Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
From acclaimed director Ken Loach comes this astonishing story of triumph and adversity in modern day Britain. Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) has worked as a joiner for most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) who is battling to keep her two young children fed. Daniel and Katie find themselves in a no-man's land, striving to pull themselves out of the welfare bureaucracy of modern day Britain.
Actors:
, , , Briana Shann, Dylan McKiernan, , Jane Birch, , Stephen Clegg, , , , , , Mick Laffey, , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Rebecca O'Brien
Writers:
Paul Laverty
Others:
Rebecca O'Brien, Paul Laverty
Studio:
E1 Entertainment
Genres:
British Films, Drama
Countries:
UK
Awards:

2017 BAFTA Best British Film

2016 Cannes Palme d'Or

BBFC:
Release Date:
27/02/2017
Run Time:
96 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ken Loach and Writer Paul Laverty
  • How to Make a Ken Loach Film
  • Deleted Scenes
BBFC:
Release Date:
27/02/2017
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ken Loach and Writer Paul Laverty
  • How to Make a Ken Loach Film
  • Deleted Scenes

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Reviews (22) of I, Daniel Blake

A very realistic movie - I, Daniel Blake review by BE

Spoiler Alert
10/03/2017

A very well crafted movie from Ken Loach. Not so much a story but more an indictment of our benefit system and its derogatory effect on the bona fide claimants that have a need to access it. Some funny moments but overall, a serious piece of film work. Seamless acting throughout and an empathetic representation of intransigent bureaucracy.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Heart rending but superb. - I, Daniel Blake review by BM

Spoiler Alert
07/04/2017

The struggle of one decent man who is driven to despair by the cruel workings of bureaucracy. He is caught in a crossfire between the "jobseekers allowance" and the "sickness benefit" rules by ordinary civil servants "just doing their job." He forms a friendship with a single mum trying to cope and driven to the food bank in order to survive. Both are actors but totally believable. This is Ken Loach's just criticism of a 21st century society ruled by a government with a 19th century ideology.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Hardship and degradation captured brilliantly - I, Daniel Blake review by PT

Spoiler Alert
09/04/2017

If you've ever been unlucky enough to be out of work you'll know how accurate this film is. It has a gritty realistic feel this film, almost documentary in parts, a typical Ken Loach vehicle.

The system is made so difficult and demoralising it begs the question the film asks, is it that way to make people forget their claim. Of course there are people with money in between jobs, who can ride it out until their next employment, thereby avoiding the whole belittling ordeal. Conversely, there are the rest of society who must put up with all the obstacles as they need the states money to survive. The latter are then hit with sanction action (having their job seekers allowance stopped) for not honouring to the letter, their JSA agreement. Do the staff in job seekers allowance have sanction targets to meet?

Anyway, Dave John's and Hayley Squires play the lead roles in a wonderful understated way. The two characters desperate for their allowances to survive and both hit with sanction action. Their desperation leading these two honest and decent people into things they wouldn't ever have considered doing to survive.

Very realistic and very good.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

I, Daniel Blake review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso

I, Daniel Blake is a satirical look (sprinkled with notes of realism) at Britain’s social welfare system (or whole bureaucracy for that matter) that shows how easy for everyone is to lose their social status from king to pauper in mere months, if not days. Right there at the helm is renowned director Ken Loach (The Angels' Share, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Kes), whose unrelenting unwillingness to accept poor social norms fueled his imagination toward building a world that is believable as much as it is funny. For some, his direct approach would come as off-putting and preachy, but for others: it’s scenery for one’s inner Kafka to ponder upon for years to come.

The film starts with Daniel Blake, who is diagnosed with a heart condition that renders him incapable of doing regular work (as appointed by the doctor’s office). But Daniel’s condition is not serious enough so that he can apply for sickness benefits; therefore: Daniel Blake enters a Kafkaesque scenario where the only way out is not to play at all.

To convey administrative paradoxes, director Loch uses subtle clues scattered throughout the film which we as the audience, are supposed to uncover as the story intertwines further into several branches of interconnected vicissitudes. These are often funny to crack a chuckle or two when things go south in Blake’s endeavors, but can also be harsh and raw when the reality of it all hits our titular character over the head.

At times, we’re lead to believe that the story of certain Daniel Blake is a classical tragedy with no outs; other times, we’re full with motivation and physically point fingers and offer solutions to our main protagonist – seemingly unaware that cinema is a one way medium (or so we are told). To this extent, I, Daniel Blake is engaging, witty and inclusive: everyone in a point of their lives was mirroring what Daniel Blake felt throughout. And it was mostly bitterness, helplessness and empathy.

With that explained, one can easily presume and presuppose traits which Ken Loach doesn’t even graze their surface to start with, such as neo-libertarian policies that allow for everything to happen in accordance with an unlimited recourse policy; or a pseudo-social economy where everyone should be given the right to receive an income regardless of their contribution to society. In a way: be wary of such false propagators that add little to nothing to the overall social-economic commentary as it exists today.

To summarize: I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach is a feature that deserves one’s attention - even when such attention is limited to couple of hours a day. For you know how they say – better safe than sorry, or in the case of Daniel – better save than don’t be able to retire when all social hell breaks loose.

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