DVD of the week: Ken Loach's 'Looking for Eric'
Ken Loach gives a Manchester-set tale of working class struggle a bright, quasi-feelgood sheen with the help of Eric Cantona in our DVD pick of the week
His ninth collaboration with writer Paul Laverty turns on the moral rehabilitation of a lost Manchester postman and United fanatic, ten years off the terraces and for the past seven a struggling lone-parent of three, and for a year a grandfather, brought back to life, love and Old Trafford by the support of mates and the daydreamed mentoring of the magical No 7 (playing himself).
A spirited performance by Steve Evets as Eric Bishop, strong support from John Henshaw as postie Meatballs, bright cinematography and relaxed direction sweetly dovetail to provide an entertaining re-affirmation of – naturellement! – the importance of passion, struggle, solidarity and collectivist support. As for the awkward subplot concerning the involvement with heavies of Bishop’s son, where would Loach’s films be without a subplot as awkward as peripheral events prove in real life?
But what’s also pleasurable and surprising is a new devil-may-care quality. Has old Loach a hankering for blondes, you may wonder? His latest, Stephanie Bishop, as the postman’s ex, is superb; her affecting romantic foil helps to provide a balancing female presence and emotional depth to this encouraging, slightly eccentric crowd-pleaser.
Extras Cantona interview, short on Bath City FC, deleted scenes.
Author: Wally Hammond
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