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Looking for Eric
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48 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

It score's with me ...

8/10
Author: colin_coyne from London
8 June 2009

I think that Ken Loach has produced another winner here – it is a story of a Eric Bishop (Steve Evets), a postman going though some hard times and not being able to cope with life in general – with a painful break-up behind him, a dysfunctional home life, step kids that ignore him, he decides to escape from it all by driving the wrong way around a round-about … this prompts his friends to rally around to help him – suggesting self help techniques (very comical!) and adopting role models … and Eric B. adopts his main influence as Eric Cantona – who in his mind's eye becomes our Eric's life coach and mentor

Eric's friends and work colleagues from the Post Office are hilarious and whenever they are on screen it is very funny – especially the character "Meatballs" – played with great aplomb by John Henshaw. Other very good performances were portrayed by Stephanie Bishop (as Lily) and of course by Eric Cantona playing himself …

At times this film is sad, and at others truly funny – but you do take to the characters and ride along the emotional roller-coaster – because you actually start caring about the characters and what is happening to them

Just when it seemed all was lost for Eric B. and his family – there is then a superb twist in the plot (I won't give it away here) – and you won't see it coming! – that leads to a very fitting, uplifting finale to a very well told / acted / directed story I am not a Man Utd. Fan, but this film still has a lot to recommend it – and I must say, that Eric Cantona grows on you more and more as the movie goes along

This film's message is not really about football – it's more about the value of friends and people you can rely on when all seems lost … and as Cantona states "Trust your teammates – always – or your are nothing!"

I found "Looking for Eric" to be a very enjoyable film - recommended!

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37 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

A flawed masterpiece....just like Cantona himself.

8/10
Author: trevorwomble from UK
18 June 2009

Man Utd fans will obviously love this and I'm not a Utd fan. However i have to say this is the most entertaining film of Ken Loach's since Bread & Roses nearly a decade ago. It has a good story and is realistically acted by a cast of unknowns and semi-familiar faces. For a film about a legendary and iconic footballer it doesn't ram football down the throats of the non-fans. What the film does do is bring up just how important football is for many people, the way it can unite and connect them in a way that has otherwise disappeared in Britain.

I won't give any of the story away but this film drags you down to a point where you wonder how the protagonist will get out of a very dire dilemma. Yet the ending is so well written you are guaranteed to come out of the cinema smiling at the way just desserts are dished out. The film is brutal in places and the language strong yet the excellent acting keeps it watchable and Monsieur Cantona himself seems very comfortable in front of a film camera (although sometimes his accent makes his dialog a little hard to understand). Cantona plays with his image wonderfully, being both self important and yet always likable and sometimes quite happy to deflate his own ego, being respectful about how lucky he was to have had such a memorable and legendary career without ever being truly arrogant (a fact a certain Mr C Ronaldo could do well to absorb) and acknowledging the role of the fans in his career. Lets put it another way, King Eric will always be remembered and respected in this country by all supporters for his great ability and the respect he had for the game and his club. Ronaldo will just be remembered as a talented but greedy young man who left probably the biggest club in the world for a larger pay packet.

Its difficult for me to say any more without giving away the plot but lets just say this is a film about never giving up hope when all seems lost because sometimes help will come from the most unexpected sources.

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39 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

heart warming

8/10
Author: markgorman from United Kingdom
20 June 2009

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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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Never knew what hit me

9/10
Author: FernAshes from The Hague, the Netherlands
20 September 2009

I went to see this film as a colleague said it was good. I pretty much had no other idea what it was when I entered the theater.

The story is well narrated, put together in the "show not tell" method. You figure it out as you go along.

I found it fascinating on many levels. The character that Cantona plays adds depth and sparkle to the beginning of the story, when it all seems so lack luster. Seeing all the different stories coming together and seeing Eric pull himself together makes for a phenomenal story. At no point was I bored or did I lose interest in the movie.

It was only afterward that I found out who Cantona is and that he was even played by himself. The film completely worked even without knowing this beforehand.

Enjoyable, heartwarming and fascinating - I'll definitely be recommending this to friends.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Griity, realistic - fantasy

8/10
Author: Mick-Jordan from Ireland
20 July 2009

From 'Cathy Come Home' to 'Kes through to 'Raining Stones' to 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' the constant element of a Ken Loach film is striking realism. Everything is so natural, so ordinary that you stop looking at a story unfold on a big screen but look out at life going on through a massive window in the corner of the cinema. People talk like real people talk not to advance a story but to say what they're thinking, they talk over each other, round each other and sometimes stumble over their words. Events don't take place in a neat progressive order – they just happen, the way life happens. And yet Loach still manages to construct and set out these moments and these characters to tell a coherent natural story with a beginning, middle and end. Even when making a fantasy about a middle-aged man and his imaginary friend he doesn't alter the realism and naturalism of his approach one little bit.

Eric Bishop (Steve Evets) is on the verge of a complete breakdown moving from depression to despair. He lives with his two stepsons who treat him with contempt and use his house as a doss-house for their mates. He is still haunted by his biggest regret in his life – walking out on Lily (Stephanie Bishop) his first wife and first love nearly thirty years earlier when their daughter was still a toddler. When that now grown up daughter approaches him to help with looking after her child he realises Lily is going to become a part of his life again and he is terrified of how to deal with it or indeed if he can. His friends see that he is falling apart and rally around and try to help but it is his idol Eric Cantona (Eric Cantona) who he turns to for advice on how to cope. Cantona isn't there of course, it's all in his head but you get the impression that Eric B. knows that and that that's not the point anyway. It helps.

Although this is not necessarily a comedy it has like all of Ken Loache's films some very funny moments and some very funny characters. It has some very brutal ones too. A gentle domestic scene is suddenly interrupted by a shocking and very noisy home invasion – Eric's stepsons get caught up with gangland killers – and Eric himself gets (very) publicly humiliated by that gang's leader. But at its heart this is a feel-good film and leaves you with a satisfied grin and a real sense of justice being done. – And Cantona is damn good too!

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Lots of Laughs

8/10
Author: hopek-1 from United Kingdom
10 June 2009

I found this film extremely good fun. The plot was a little surreal, but it held you. The acting was excellent and there were lots of laughs. Cantona acquits himself perfectly respectably. As usual with Ken Loach, there was a bleaker side to the fun and the realities of ordinary people's lives were not glossed over or "prettied up". As is also the case with Loach films, one had the sensation that this was not being "acted" by professional luvvies, but conveyed with sincerity. This must be extremely difficult to achieve and I am full of admiration for the skill involved. Manchester United fans and other football followers will enjoy some of the documentary footage. But this is not just a film for football enthusiasts. I thoroughly recommend it.

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Best film of the year for me...

10/10
Author: jkeggen from United Kingdom
1 June 2009

I've just been to see an advance screening of this film, without really knowing what it was about, other than obviously Eric Cantona would be in it. I'll admit from the outset that I am a Manchester United fan and was looking forward to seeing Eric on screen. It would have been worth it if only to see some of his goals again. I won't say too much about what the film was about for risk of spoiling it, because you should see it for yourself. It is filmed and based around Manchester and follows the life of a postman. At times it's sad, amusing and hilarious. The characters are extremely well played by actors both known and unknown and the audience should be able to identify with them easily. I would tip this to be big and hope it does well at the box office.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

soccer meets philosophy

8/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
30 June 2010

The recent World Cup in South Africa brought everyone's attention to soccer (which most of the world calls football), but movies such as "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Looking for Eric" show why we should pay more attention to it. The Fall's Steve Evets plays down-on-his-luck postman Eric Bishop, who in his mind gets advice from footballer Eric Cantona (playing himself). Through this, Eric reconnects with his family. But when his son gets involved with a group of thugs, Eric has to take charge.

This is only the third Ken Loach film that I've seen (the others were "Poor Cow" and "Kes"). As I understand it, Loach usually focuses on political topics in his movies. While this one isn't really political, it's still one that I strongly recommend. Everything about it feels so realistic. I'd never even heard of Eric Cantona before this. Without a doubt, the best scene in the movie is the home invasion towards the end.

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17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Slight , but Enjoyable

5/10
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
18 June 2009

A quintessentially English film, but with a Gallic twist, this story should appeal to an audience far beyond the denizens of the Stretford End. In essence, a modest morality tale, a first half which fades dangerously is kick started by a plot development which sees things through to a happy, and satisfying conclusion.

Steve Evets plays, Eric, a down trodden, down on his luck Postman who is saved by his namesake Eric Cantona finding minor redemption from his life's trials and tribulations. Cantona is impressive and convincing, playing himself with a wistful enigmatic quality that legend determines he has.A solid cast includes Everyman Northerner John Henshaw as best mate Meatballs and an enjoyable cameo by Lucy-Jo Hudson as daughter Sam whom many will recognise as Katy from Coronation St.

The humour is wry, rather than laugh-out-loud, and the first half succeeds so well in creating an impoverished, crushed, defeated air that it almost implodes.By contrast,the second half, with a purpose,means the minutes zip along as the pace, dialogue, editing and story advance.The running time at almost two hours gives ample time for the characters to breathe, pretty much a trademark of Director Ken Loach.This work leans more heavily on the verite of his early documentary "Cathy Come Home" than the lushness of The Wind That Shakes The Barley".Yet Cantona lifts proceedings with his every appearance suggesting that a serious film career may beckon.

Authentic, well observed, raw in places, this film puts people first and is faithful to both Northern life, and the enigma which is Cantona.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The legend of Cantona now lives on through the movies.Wonderful.

8/10
Author: axlrhodes from United Kingdom
18 January 2010

Being an armchair Manchester United fan now for almost 20 years i had a lot of interest in seeing Ken Loachs' film when i first got wind of it.The presence of Eric Cantona still looms large over Old Trafford and indeed fans still sing his name to this day.In a way,watching Looking For Eric made me fall in love with Cantona and Manchester United all over again. This film does what all good fantasy films should do , it makes you feel good. We start the film with our central character in the depths of unhapiness and witness a transformation,thanks to life coaching by Eric Cantona (watch out Paul McKenna) . Cantona is a man with undeniable presence.Those who might sneer and scoff at his attempts to break in to the film world will be made to eat their words as Cantona brings every ounce of mysticism and humanity to his performance. It's true that it pays to know about Cantona and the impression he made upon the English game of football. In all the years since he has left the game, no one has quite replicated what he achieved. He will be remembered by Manchester United fans alongside greats like Best and Charlton and now also by movie fans for a touching and memorable performance in a film that deserves high praise.

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