With Cannes 2014 only six weeks away , I thought I'd put together a list. I didn't realise how ridiculously…
Looking for Eric
To win back the love of his life, Eric's going to need a little training.
A man trying to put his life back on track gets some advice from an unexpected benefactor (the ex football player Eric Cantona) in this comedy-drama from acclaimed British director Ken Loach.
Quite the strange blend of playful fantasy, urban realism and grtty Brit crime film. I remember the trailers and promo stuff that was put out for this one and it looked "funny" which didn't mesh with my expectations of a Ken Loach film. Happily it wasn't too "funny" and features a fantastic performance from Steve Evets in amongst all the silliness but I would have preferred slightly more social realsism and slightly less Eric Cantona.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Rewatch as part of the Ken Loach season on Film 4.
It stands up really well actually and I still like the tightrope walk Loach maintains between whimsy and harsh grimy reality.
Cantona continues to prove he is just as charismatic an actor as he was a footballer (and that's from someone with little to no interest in the game) whilst I firmly believe more films need Steve Evets and John Henshaw.
As a Manchester City Fan I should hate this, but I don't! Its a wonderful film about redemption and a 2nd chance. Cantona is sublime, Evetts in the lead is brilliant, but John Henshaw is someone I could watch all day and the reason the film works on every level. Loach is a master film maker and this only confirms it
The key to bouncing back is to get baked with an imaginary Eric Cantona.
Part dark crime movie, part fantastical treatise on the cult of celebrity, Loach's semi-sports movie is an uplifting work that steers well clear of sickly sentiment. With the wonderful working class wit so frequent a staple of Loach’s work, it thrives on a strong spine of humour which gives the film room aplenty to slowly build a fine darkness. Cantona has an excellent time playing on his own infamous eccentricities as a projection of the other Eric’s marijuana-addled mind, Paul Laverty’s screenplay stuffed with oddball philosophising that perfectly suits the relationship between the dual namesakes. Steve Evets expertly explores the darker corners of his character, his distinctly everyman manner adding a refreshing genuineness to a somewhat unremarkable love story. With a hilariously strange conclusion it cements itself as one of the most original and fun sports movies of the last few years.
Funny when it wants to be, surprisingly touching at times, always a little obviously plotted and it loses touch with reality in more ways than just the cantona scenes but he is great, Evets is great and the cast, while variable, mostly deliver
My introduction to Ken Loach's work is an exceedingly conventional type of movie, but with enough interesting, unique choices that I didn't care--the formula worked for me.
A poor, depressed Mancunian (from Manchester) communicates with the spirit of Eric Cantona--apparently a hugely respected figure for fans of the Manchester football team. Cantona dispenses funny little philosophical lines and changes the poor man's life. It sounds predictable, but the execution adds enough bumps and curves on the road to a possible happy ending that it's a very good ride. The outline of the whole thing could be a boring rom-com in Hollywood, but there are moments that are almost shocking, and enough emotional restraint to not be ashamed of what you're…
What's it about? Football fanatic Eric's (Steve Evets) life is in mess. However, help is on hand in the unlikely form of his hero Eric Cantona (er...Eric Cantona), who appears to him in visions to dispense sage advice and guidance.
Is it any good? A good-natured comedy-drama, which utilises its central premise to good effect. The rather unlikely gangster sub-plot threatens to throw away a good lead, but the winning cast, and particularly the Man of the Match Evets, do enough to hold on for a good result.
Not terribly original. I liked how it was setting up but as the film progressed it felt more and more formulaic. Had some fun moments.
Eric transforms both his and the lives of others assisted by a little inspiration from Eric Cantona. (No seagulls or trawlers were used in the making of this film)
Lovely. (Imagine I said this with Steve Evets' voice)
While I do occasionally call this movie: "manic pixie dream girl story but with Eric Cantona", it is in fact quite close to my heart.
Steve Evets portrays Eric Bishop, a postal worker whose life is not going too well and who gets into an accident while driving under a panic attack. While Eric takes a look at how terrible he feels about his life, his idol, Eric Cantona, football player, appears to him. Regardless of whether he is simply a drug induced hallucination, they talk, exercise, dance together- and inspired by him, Bishop finds his inner strength, to reach out to other people for help and finally come to terms with his past.
"Who loves you, Eric" Bishops asks from Cantona's poster hanging in his room. His words are directed also at himself.
For a film which reloves around - and predominantly features - Man Utd fans, this was surprisingly watchable. Steve Evets is excellent as Eric, a postman struggling to keep his life and his mind intact; Cantona is, well, Cantona, but with more philosophical, gallic shrug than 'King Eric' arrogance. Loach achieves a balance of realism and humour for much of the film, and although it does become somewhat predictable towards the end, it's still very enjoyable.
A well-done film, and I thought I was going to love it for the first 30-45 bleak, desperately depressed minutes. When the gun shows up the film takes a turn for the conventional, though, and is kind of humdrum the rest of the way through.
I admire Ken Loach a great deal, but I've never really liked his attempts to go outside his backyard and tell stories about foreign places (like in Land and Freedom or The Wind That Shakes The Barley), instead I prefer his dissections of the lives of the underpriviliged in England like Ladybird Ladybird, Kes and My Name Is Joe. One thing though that those 'foreign' films does usually bring and which I really think Loach does well is a scene in which there is an intense political discussion involving a larger group of people. In this movie where a postman on the skids gets some spiritual guidance from a possibly imaginary version of his big Idol, the brilliant french midfielder…
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