This film goes on general release in the UK today and I was lucky enough to see a preview last Friday at BFI Southbank.
Now what I know about football could be written on the back of a stamp but luckily this film isn’t just for footie fans. It tells the story of Eric Bishop (played fantastically by Steve Evets), a depressed postman in Manchester living with his two teenage sons. As his work mates rally round to lift his spirits, he starts talking to the poster of Eric Cantona in his bedroom. Before we know it, ‘Big Eric’ is sitting in the same room and playing life coach – pushing ‘Little Eric’ to move forward in his life and take control of himself.
Through babysitting duties for his grown up daughter, he begins to heal old wounds and misunderstandings with ex-wife Lily. Then the plot takes a dramatic turn when he discovers one of his sons hiding a gun for a shady local gangster. Trapped in a seemingly impossible situation, ‘Big Eric’ encourages ‘Little Eric’ to turn to his mates for help and the resolution is unexpected, hilarious and uplifting.
‘Looking for Eric’ is a triumph. The acting is superb and the film is completely engrossing and never descends into sentimentality. Highly recommended.
After the film’s preview there was a fascinating and very entertaining Q&A session with Ken Loach, Steve Evets (outrageously funny guy) and yes the man himself…Eric Cantona. It was being videoed and is well worth seeing if it becomes available on the BFI or Guardian websites.