It’s got Eric in it, which – as happened at United – almost makes everything else that follows an anti-climax, and though having Eric in it is enough (for me and I guess most other United fans), having Eric Cantona the actor playing the part of Eric sadly (for me at least) isn’t.
I should have known that Ken Loach wouldn’t really deliver the ‘feel-good’ film that the preview clips suggested, and the darker moments of Looking For Eric that super-impose themselves over the rest – giving it that familiar Loachian fog – left me feeling the same as I do whenever I watch a Ken Loach film, uncomfortable. The sign of a great director, right?! Right. But, I think, he does it much better elsewhere.
The premise of the film that Eric (played well by Steve Evets) – who’s by know means having the best of it – finds a weed-induced spirit-guide-slash-confidante-slash-therapist in Eric Cantona could have worked. But, what’s problematic, for me, is how the main narrative running alongside overlaps and jars awkwardly with these quasi-surreal interpositions. If that was intentional, well done.
Ken Loach knows how to make films and he’s made one. It’s very worth it for Eric, if you love him (like me), and also for the ‘army of Erics’ as the film reaches its far-fetched finale.