Saturday, 16 October 2010

Film Review: LOOKING FOR ERIC (2009)

Director: Ken Loach
Running time: 116 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 12th June 2009

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 16th October 2010.


Ken Loach is an acclaimed British director who is well known for his gritty ‘kitchen sink’ dramas. This is a bit of a departure in that it’s a comedy, well, more like a drama with some comedy included. First of all, for my American readers, when I refer to football, I’m talking about what you guys call soccer, hope that’s clear. So, Eric Bishop is a postman who is down on his luck. He has been a fan of Manchester United all of his life and his favourite player was Frenchman Eric Cantona.

When Eric Bishop has a breakdown he is taken to hospital. His friend, Meatballs, picks him up the following day and takes him home. There he finds his two stepsons, Ryan and Jess, both lazing about and up to no good as usual. After a meeting with some friends where they talk about self awareness he begins to believe he sees his footballing hero, Eric Cantona. As time goes on, this apparition teaches him how to make his life better, and even how he might win back his first wife Lily, who he is still in love with. Through looking after his granddaughter, baby Molly, Eric discovers he can actually talk to Lily. He tells her about how he was feeling when they split up and they begin to grow a bit closer. Things seem to be going well when Ryan falls in with the wrong crowd and ends up hiding a very hot firearm. Eric tries to plead with the bad guys but they’ll have none of it. What can he do?... Cantona may have the answer.

I should point out that yes, I am a football fan, but no I’m not a fan of Manchester United, or Eric Cantona. I admired him as a player but he always came over as a bit too arrogant for me. Having said that, I really enjoyed this film! I could relate to the troubles Eric Bishop was having and I thought the ending was great! Any film that leaves me with a smile on my face can’t be too bad! Great performances all round, especially from Steve Evets as Eric Bishop, he really nailed the part! I also thought that Stephanie Bishop as Lily and Gerard Kearns as Ryan were both very good. Honourable mentions must go to Stefan Gumbs as Jess, Lucy-Jo Hudson as Sam, John Henshaw as Meatballs, Justin Moorhouse as Spleen and of course, Eric Cantona as himself.

Although it lost a bit of momentum in the middle, I felt it was a pretty well made film with a lot of realism in both the dialogue and the visuals. I have been to Manchester and parts of it really are like that! I found some of Eric Cantona’s dialogue was a little indistinct, which did detract from my enjoyment slightly, but they made up for it with some great footage of his goals. Over all, I found it a very enjoyable film with some great comic moments but also some gritty realism. Recommended.

My score: 8.3/10

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