Opens:November 17, 2016
If this ends up being veteran UK director Ken Loach’s final film (he had announced his retirement before deciding to make it), then he’s going out with a bang. Some UK critics questioned the Cannes jury decision to give him the top prize, the Palme d’Or, for this excoriating tale about the cruelty of the British welfare state bureaucracy, with its web of senseless regulations designed seemingly to prevent the unemployed, sick and homeless from getting any benefits (and is it really so different here in Australia?). Those reviewers complained the film didn’t make any stylistic step forward for Loach. That’s missing the point.
This story about a joiner named Daniel Blake (Dave Johns), who is struggling to receive payments after being declared by his doctor unfit to work following a heart attack, is one of the most powerful films of his long career and almost impossible to watch without being moved and enraged.
Loach has never been an overt visual stylist, being more concerned with using a realist aesthetic to tell stories of ordinary working-class people, and I, Daniel Blakecompletes the circle begun by his headline-making 1966...