I, DANIEL BLAKE, the new and (as usual) quiet provocation from director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty, this is a movie that will break your heart without leaving your brain in any way undernourished.
Monster With a Thousand Heads, continuing with the Chinese-Canadian Old Stone, and now this: the best of the lot so far. In his fine screenplay, Laverty places life and truth above melodrama and contrivance, while
(There is one exception: Daniel's discovery of his lady friend Katie's new employment, which smacks of the sort of coincidence found regularly on Downton Abbey. Yet, so hooked are you likely to be at this point in the film's unfurling that the moment ought not be a deal-breaker.) Mr. Loach has long given us character-driven movies that are also filled with event. This is the case here, as well, and Daniel Blake is certainly among the great character "everymen" to grace the modern film canon.
Hayley Squires, above, right), the mother of two young kids, both of whom are adorable and one of whom clearly has a touch of maybe Aspergers. As Katie, too, is given the run-around, Daniel rises to her defense, and though they are both asked to leave, a bond has formed.
Sundance Selects/IFC Films and running 100 minutes, the movie opens today, Friday, December 23, in New York City at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal. Elsewhere. To be sure, in the weeks to come. I don't have cities and dates just yet, but you can periodically click here and then click on the bright green link WATCH NOW to lean if the film is playing anywhere near you.