Eric Bishop, a middle-aged postman working for the Manchester sorting office, is going through a dreadful crisis. For starters, his second life companion has not resurfaced although she was released from prison a few months ago. He is left alone with two stepsons to look after, which is no bed of roses since the two teens disrespect him and keep disobeying him. To make matters worse, Ryan, the older boy, fascinated by Zac, a dangerous gangster, has accepted to hide his gun in Eric's house. On the other hand, he is asked by Sam, his student daughter who has a newborn baby,to get back in touch with Lily, his separated wife. Now, Eric left her not long after she gave back to their daughter. As a result Eric panics... Having lost all his bearings, Eric Bishop soliloquizes face to the poster of his idol, another Eric, French footballer Eric Cantona, when the latter appears just like the genie out of Aladdin's lamp. Through a series of aphorisms peculiar to him, the footballer-philosopher ... Written by
Don't believe a word of the hype. Looking for Eric is not a Ken Loach comedy. It is, in several places, a very funny film indeed. But it is not a comedy. At a far fetched push you might call it a rom-com or a social satire. Me? I just think it's another brilliant Loachian movie. (Can you believe he's been at it for 45, yes 45, years since he wrote three episodes for z cars)? It's so sad, so desperate in places and then, yes, so funny.
And then there's Eric (Cantona). Ooh ah! And his goals. Ooh la la! And his cod (sorry sardine) philosophising. Oops ah! The Cantona character is inspired, as it is so self-deprecating- not a quality one associates with the French.
I loved this film but why is it so good? I think it's the way Loach makes his characters so utterly believable and, particularly in this movie, sympathetic. And as I always, always say it's because of the writing which is nailed on by long time collaborator Paul Laverty).
One of the back stories, about the elder stepson of Eric the postman (our hero played to perfection by Steve Evets in, I think, his first Loach movie) is really the backbone of the film. The eldest stepson (Gerard Kearns of Shameless fame) gets embroiled in some nasty business with a local gangland thug and threatens to destabilise Eric's whole fragile existence. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and that is certainly proved here.
It's a gem. A true Brit movie classic with a wee bit of the Auld Alliance thrown in.
J'adore Eric Cantona!
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