Did Me Daniel Blake, by Ken Loach, deserve the Palme d’Or?  (critical)

Did Me Daniel Blake, by Ken Loach, deserve the Palme d’Or? (critical)

To celebrate the 2024 edition, TV channels are broadcasting winners from previous editions…

On this Saturday evening, just after the reveal of the winners of the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Canal + and France 4 will present works that have previously received the Palme d'Or. The encrypted channel is banking on Anatomy of a fallwhich triumphed last year, and that of France Télévisions program Me, Daniel Blakeof Ken Loach. The two films are already visible in replay.

In 2016, First found this British drama “unassailable on the merits”but “mechanical, even lazy”. After the film, the closing ceremony of the 2024 edition will be rebroadcast, precisely at 10:39 p.m.

Cannes 2019 – Sorry we missed you: Ken Loach hits the nail on the head, we come out KO (Review)

Here is our review of Me, Daniel Blakepublished when it was discovered during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Since then, the filmmaker has once again been acclaimed for The Old Oakand shortly after its release, he announced that he wanted to retire.

Exactly ten years ago, Ken Loach finally won the Palme d’Or for The wind picks up, his great warlike and romantic fresco which was undoubtedly not his best film but the most representative. A deserved accolade for the most politicized and, without doubt, the most honest and sincere English filmmaker of his generation. Since this feat of arms, not much: Ken Loach, almost as metronomic as Woody Allen, has made a series of “necessary” social films, some of which are better –It's a free world, The spirit of 45– that others –Looking for Eric, Irish Road. With Me, Daniel Blakehe obtained a new Palme d'Or, the meaning of which this time escapes us: the film seems to mark the end of a cycle, that of his long and fruitful collaboration with screenwriter Paul Laverty.

“Another world is possible, and even necessary”: in Cannes, Ken Loach’s committed speech in full

A cinema too sure of its effects
The Daniel Blake in question is a 59-year-old carpenter forced to quit following heart problems. Problem: social assistance denies him his rights and forces him to work under penalty of sanction. During yet another visit, he meets Rachel, an isolated mother of two children, forced to settle hundreds of kilometers from home to benefit from decent housing. These two people left behind will end up helping each other… On a documentary level, nothing to say. Laverty has the habit of investigating at length before writing and it shows. The absurd workings of the administrative machine are perfectly described, which causes the expected indignity. He has more difficulty bringing his two characters to life, whom he buries under tons of pathos, one misfortune chasing the other without the shadow of a breath or a surprise. The denouement, which we feel coming miles away, is in this respect symptomatic of a mechanical cinema, sure of its effects, incapable of varying its trajectory, or better still of transcending itself. We can see it as a form of constancy and integrity. Or laziness.

Extract of Me, Daniel Blake :

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