I, Daniel Blake Movie Review
Bureaucracy is wonderful, isn’t it? I, Daniel Blake, which won Best British Film at the 2016 BAFTAs, follows an elderly construction worker who, after suffering a heart attack, is unable to return to work—but his lack of education and computer skills leaves him stuck and penniless in the complicated web of unemployment forms, processes and review.
For some reason, I, Daniel Blake is only hitting theaters here in Seattle now—nine months after its UK release—but the wait is worth it as the drama is one of the best movies you’ll see all year.
Directed by Ken Loach and starring Dave Johns, the movie is a brilliantly simple yet emotionally nuanced film that will stick with you long after its over. Paul Laverty’s terrific screenplay comes to life largely on the shoulders of Johns, who delivers an award-worthy performance as the title character. Johns is fantastic, and despite the rather straightforward premise of the story, brings incredible depth to his character.
Hayley Squires also gives a strong performance as Katie, a young, single mother who Daniel befriends.
I, Daniel Blake is understated in many ways, but it’s a consistently well made, well acted and engrossing drama that deserves to be seen.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.