looking-for-eric-apr-29thOur final film of the season. With lightness of touch Ken Loach presents a mixture of whimsy and morality tale, culminating in the triumph of the personal and political in this story of a Mancunian postman in the grip of a mid-life crisis. Eric, a single parent, finds his life spiralling out of control, but he finds a most unusual counsellor – his footballing hero, Eric Cantona. At times we risk drifting into the sentimental, but the narrative regains control and concentrates on some highly pertinent subjects of concern in the bleak urban landscape. (Cert 15)
Dir: Ken Loach 112 mins UK 2009

Programme Notes

Thursday, 29th April 2010


UK 2009 112 minutes Cert. 15

It is no surprise to find that postmen – like the rest of us – have personal problems, as was demonstrated in the postal strikes we saw last year. However not many have guardian angels, so to speak. We have seen films before where an outside influence consoles and has some power over someone else’s life. In Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire (1987), for instance, the two guardian angels were Ganz and Sander who kept a watchful eye on the character played by Peter Falk. In Ghost (1990) Patrick Swayze’s ghost abets the romantic adventures of widowed wife Demi Moore. Even more significantly, in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Clarence sees that things turn out right for the hero. The main difference between these examples and tonight’s ghost is that Mr Cantona is very much alive. If you could choose your own third party to protect you and confide in, who better than someone you regard as a hero or heroine. Thus Eric, our troubled postie, turns naturally to his Old Trafford eccentric footballing hero and namesake.

One could be forgiven for thinking that director Ken Loach might pay too much attention to Cantona’s footballing prowess when he was indisputably one of the greats alongside Bobby Charlton, George Best and more recently David Beckham, and others. However, the clips that Loach throws in merely serve to show why Eric regards Cantona as his hero. Indeed this is not the first film in which Eric Cantona has appeared. Following his retirement from football in 1998 he had a role in the film Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchette.

As regards the plot of the film Looking for Eric, I am not going to spoil it for you. The first half of the film deals with Eric’s family life and troubles and introduces us to many of his friends, family and co-workers. Cantona appears and consoles where necessary. Most of the comedy comes at the end of the film, where the baddies get their comeuppance All the supporting cast give excellent performances and look like they really enjoyed making the film… especially the end.

This is a good upbeat film to end the initially programmed part of our season and we hope you will enjoy it.

Eric Bishop – Steve Evets
Eric Cantona – Himself
Lily – Stephanie Bishop
Ryan – Gerard Kearns
Ryan’s Girlfriend – Kelly Bowland
Meatballs – John Henshaw
Spleen – Justin Moorhouse

Director – Ken Loach
Screenwriter – Paul Laverty
Producer – Rebecca O’Brien
Cinematography – Barry Ackroyd
Music – Isobel Griffiths


“Real feel-good stuff”

“Loved it! Ken Loach at his best.”

“Another case of ‘What a shame life isn’t more like a film’, eh?”

“A ‘fucking’ [sic] brilliant end to the season !!”

“A good end-of-season film – but, of course, it isn’t the end.”

“The benefits of taking a close shave!”

“Despite being a roller-coaster ride of upbeat and bleak moments, this was an entertaining film full of Manchunian wit with a great performance from John Henshaw.”

“Subtitles would have been helpful for non-Scousers!”

“Silly and fun – though too much football”

“Good but Cantona’s [dialogue] needed subtitling”

“An aberration! An exercise in gritty un-realism, fantasy and a tacked-on happy ending. Most enjoyable!”

“… to laugh … and (be) positive! [sic]”

“Repetitive language and poor sound quality. I couldn’t understand the relationships.”

“A Gordon Brown mask would have seen them off quicker!”


A:16, B:15, C:0, D:1, E:0 to give 86%