Eric's Idol: Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric"

by robbiefreeling
May 14, 2010 9:34 AM
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Eric Cantona, “The King” and “the man who made football art,” the French-born hunk who led Manchester United to four league titles, is not a household name in the States. He’s no David Beckham or even Zinedine Zidane, but trust Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric that he's a big deal. In the film, Eric Bishop (Steve Evets), is seeing him—not romantically, or even corporeally, but whenever the troubled postal worker smokes a bit of his stepson's pot, the spirit of the very much alive Cantona appears, counseling him on his life crises like the White House portraits speaking to Nixon. But Looking for Eric is not another Harvey or Drop Dead Fred, because the imaginary friend element is only one in director Ken Loach's genre ragbag, into which he also tosses romantic comedy and his usual social issue drama. Created with frequent collaborators (writer Paul Laverty, cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, composer George Fenton), the film has the same sober, unflashy look and sound as aughts efforts like My Name is Joe and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. There, the deliberate, Loach-ian “nonstyle” complemented the straightforward, hard drama, but here it is not always versatile enough to land the different routines in a movie that occasionally feels more like an omnibus film than one director's vision. Read Justin Stewart's review of Looking for Eric.

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  • seanmcavoy | May 18, 2010 4:43 AMReply

    "Looking for Eric" is the greatest movie ever made! As a matter of fact, I am going to see it for the 20th time tonight at [Theater Name] in [City Name]!

    A tip from an impartial blog reader who is not an IFC Films intern - check it out!

  • FilmLover23 | May 17, 2010 7:54 AMReply

    I've only heard amazing things about this film and reading all of your comments confirmed it! I can't wait to see "Looking for Eric" when it comes to the E street Cinema in D.C this weekend. I'm a huge soccer fan and having Eric Cantona in this film is a definite plus. Thanks for the amazing feedback everyone!

  • filmjunkie349 | May 17, 2010 7:51 AMReply

    I agree with everyone's comments. I cannot wait for Ken Loach's next film, "Looking for Eric" was absolutely wonderful. It was hilarious with a deep and meaningful plot line. Definitely refreshing to see a perfect balance of comedy and drama portrayed in a culturally rich British town, that is so appropriately opportune with the current World Cup. A must watch!

  • Alexis Camarda | May 17, 2010 7:44 AMReply

    "Looking for Eric" simply blew me away. I really grew with Eric as he transformed from a down-trodden postman to a completed man all from the help of soccer star Eric Cantona. It was hilarious yet sentimental, and I recommend it to all. And hey, according to the "Connecticut Post's" David Germain, “By the time the film winds down, you will have found some solid new mates in Eric and his buddies!”

  • seanmcavoy | May 16, 2010 2:32 AMReply

    Give these guys a raise!

  • amoody2011 | May 14, 2010 11:59 AMReply

    I have officially become a Ken Loach fan after seeing "Looking For Eric" at the IFC Center in NYC. It was part of last year's 62nd Cannes Film Festival, and even Loach's new film "Route Irish" is part of this years 63rd. I agree with Jeannette Catsoulis (from NPR) that the film is "nothing less than trying to do the right thing when life keeps doing you wrong."

  • Mister Movie Man | May 14, 2010 10:45 AMReply

    I just saw Looking For Eric, and it was incredible! It had seriously compelling story lines, handled in a really beautiful way by director Ken Loach. It was simultaneously funny and sober, and had some great footage of Cantona's career at Man. U.
    If you're going to be in New York today, it opened at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza. I wouldn't miss this one, in fact, I'm going to see it again!