Indie Gems: I, Daniel Blake

A never ending cycle.

Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) suffers a massive heart attack at age 59. His doctors tell him he can't go back to work, but he's getting the run around from the unemployment office when trying to sign up for benefits. While there, he befriends a single mom named Katie (Hayley Squires) who is also having a rough time trying to get benefits after she's forced to move.

I hadn't heard of this film until the BAFTA's gave it a ton of love earlier in the year. It struck me as an American, how amazing Britian's healthcare system is compared to ours with nearly everything covered. You'd think that all their government programs would be the same, but that's absolutely not the case. Daniel is given zero guidance on how to register for the proper help. They won't even assist him with filling out a form online when he isn't familiar with computers. It's frustrating to see him treated that way, especially when he wants to get back to work but is repeated told he can't.

Johns and Squires are perfectly cast here and have great chemistry together. Their friendship is pure and believable. 

A film like this is very predictable, but it's so well made that it makes up for it.


Grade: A-

Watched on: Delta Studios in flight 

Memorable Quote: "I feel like I'm going under." - Katie (Hayley Squires)

7 comments:

  1. I really want to see this as I'm a fan of Ken Loach and I really like the fact that he makes films about real people and real situations. He is pretty much one of the best filmmakers ever though this film might be his last.

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    1. I hope you get the chance to see this one soon

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  2. This is a big film in England because the subject matter is contravwrsial. Superb film. Really powerful performances.

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    1. I remember it being big over there, it wasn't a wide release here, unfortunately.

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  3. This is a big film in England because the subject matter is contravwrsial. Superb film. Really powerful performances.

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  4. Oh man. This one really got me. Very well done, well cast. Emotional but not cloying.

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