Only 100 minutes long but it's like spending a week in the unemployment or welfare office. This film was heartily recommended by Richard Wolff, who is a brilliant economist. I will continue to listen to his radio show/podcasts but not taking his advice on movies anymore. http://www.democracyatwork.info/tags/economic_update
Both prolific and heroic (and don't he know it), Loach, as a filmmaker rather than a polemicist and mensch, is hit or miss, and this particular punch--a fine-minded but belabored variation on De Sica's masterpiece, Umberto D.--doesn't land as well as some of his many others. 2.5.
Through a well handled narrative, Loach maturely tackles the beaurocratic forces which quietly victimize the poor and ill-equipped. Superb acting and highly comedic when conveying the ridiculousness of certain governing procedures.
80/100 - Great.
Devastating portrait of life in austerity-hit UK for those already on the breadline. That it's both tragic and witty means it's Loach's most fully realised effort in years, helped in no small part by a fantastic performance by Hayley Squires. That food bank scene broke me.
“I, Daniel Blake” is a tragic, moving, not to mention infuriating portrait of a decaying society. Its account, warmly humane on one side and embarrassingly sad on the other, has the ultimate goal of emphasizing the importance of solidarity, justice, human rights, and community support.
I'm no big fan of social realism: it's unimaginative by definition, and agitprop drama can be so at odds with good storytelling that it makes me wish for a documentary instead. But Loach is one of its best modern practitioners, if only because his simple, unadorned style gives it a pure lucidity it might not otherwise have. If only the script realized it didn't need to go so far to get us to feel for the characters.
Digital. In favor of the humiliated? What can i say about a movie that spends an hour and a half constructing a speech against the system and dignifying characters - without any formal enthusiasm, let it be said - for in the final moment, at a crucial moment of the plot, on the so-called pay off, kill the main character in order to corroborate his speech and method? Is, at least, objectionable.
Ken Loach is an unapologetically political 'kitchen sink social realism' auteur. He uses the grammar of film so that form and content are intrinsically connected. 'I, Daniel Blake' willfully lacks nuance; when contemptuous apathy towards the precariat remains so all pervasive, it takes a confrontational message to break through the societal ennui. This is not just 'partisan leftie propaganda', this is real.