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.
Yikes it’s been ages since I wrote anything on the site, so here’s a catch up:
Saw an excellent new version of Sunset Boulevard before Christmas at the Comedy Theatre. I’ve long been a fan of the show – I saw the original production at the Adelphi twice and then also on tour in Birmingham. This one is very, very different and far more captivating. Directed by Craig Revel Horwood (he was milling around in the bar with friends on the night we went) the show follows the tradition of the Watermill Theatre in Newbury by having actor/musicians on stage throughout. The original production was all about spectacle, glamour and glitz. This time round it’s dark and claustrophobic which breathes a new lease of life into the show. Highly recommended.
Also before Christmas I saw Tim Minchin at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. My sister had seen him perform in Cheltenham and said I must go and see him. Quite unlike any performer I think I’ve seen before. Definitely not one for a lazy night out – “you mean I’ve got to think about what is being said on stage rather than just laugh along?”. Here’s an example of his brilliance recorded on of the London nights.
In January, I saw previews of Milk and Bolt 3D at BFI Southbank. Both completely wonderful and followed by Q&A with Gus van Sant and John Lasseter. I saw The Times of Harvey Milk documentary at the BFI last year and thought it was amazing. Sean Penn puts in a spellbinding performance.
Finally, this month I took my mum out as a birthday treat to see An Inspector Calls at the Birmingham Rep. I’d seen the production at the NT in the early nineties with Kenneth Cranham as the inspector and remember liking it but I think this production made a much bigger impression. It’s such an amazing show. Not just for the cinematic quality of the staging but the performances are wonderful – the Inspector and Shelia in particular. It’s on tour around the country until June 2009 and I’d urge you to go and see it if you can. Theatre at its absolute best.