Looking for Eric

2009-10-13 10:43
 
Looking For Eric

What it's about:

Eric Bishop (Steve Evets), a Manchester football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life coaching from his football hero, the real-as-life Eric Cantona.

What we thought:

It’s a bizarre one, this.

Man with heavy accent gets coached through personal crisis by real-life retired soccer star with even heavier accent. Oh, and the soccer player is a hallucination. Is that left-field enough for you?

Despite being a bit off-the-wall, despite being very British, very bleak (at times) and concerning itself with football, Looking For Eric tells a story any film fan can enjoy. It is flush with genuine personalities, genuine people trying to keep their head above water in difficult circumstances. Eric Bishop is a postman haunted by the marriage he abandoned and the gang troubles of his step-son. His powerlessness in the film is all down to Evets, whose performance steals the show from the great showman himself, Eric Cantona. But only just.

Cantona could have made a real hash of this, and the list of sports personalities who have translated to the silver screen with credit is not long. Playing himself, however, proves no challenge, and the man who famously uttered, "when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea", is suitably wise and mysterious as Bishop’s advisor.

Director Ken Loach has a penchant for descending into extreme pessimism in his movies. Looking For Eric takes a rapid turn for the desperate in the middle third, but just before we have another Requiem For A Dream, the cast begins to summon the qualities that make the human spirit great. Yes, there’s a touch of feel-good in here, but with such unique, skilled presentation, few cynics would mind.

A drama that manages to be both about something and everything: now that’s worthy of a world famous footballer, isn’t it?


A down-and-out football fanatic from Manchester receives inspiration and advice from his hero, Eric Cantona.

Ethelred 2009/10/12 8:34 AM
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It's delightful. Don't be put off by the football connection, or even, for ABUs, the Manchester United connection. It really has little to do with either. I giggled, I laughed, I was shocked in some scenes, and I cried in several. If you are a United fan you'll love the memories of the magic that was Cantona. If you're not you can still enjoy his genius. Eric the postman invites sympathy, pity and ultimately admiration. Go and see it. Now!
grant aubin 2009/10/12 9:18 AM
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"Looking For Eric" is an absolutely marvelous film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will leave you with a sloppy grin on your face. It is certainly Ken Loach's most entertaining film. Gosh, what a surprise to find the old lefty UK director Loach making a feel good flick. Most warmly recommended to anyone who is tired of the Hollywood crap. Steve Evets gives a fantastic performance as postman Eric. And King Eric ("I am Cantona") is a warm and wonderful presence in this movie. I loved it.
JK 2009/10/12 9:44 AM
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Absolutely wonderful film! Went in expecting to have my heart ripped out by Ken Loach again (still have haunting memories of “Sweet Sixteen”) but was transported by this simple, universal, incredibly HUMAN tale. Cantona himself makes a typically enigmatic impression. And those amazing goals he scored! Makes a Man U fan like myself very very happy :)
DON ELLIS 2009/10/12 2:58 PM
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Looking for Eric - what a load of nonsense. poor filming - speaker camera kept appearing on screen - walked out after 15 minutes.
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