Directed by: Ken Loach Cast: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Stephanie Bishop, Gerard Kearns Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins Rating: R Release Date: June 18, 2010 (limited)
PLOT: A suicidal father (Steve Evets) tries to pull his life together with the help of his imaginary friend, real-life soccer legend Eric Cantona.
WHO'S IT FOR?: This will please the optimists of the art-house crowd, but even mainstream audiences have the potential to find this movie to be quite enjoyable. Familiarity with Eric Cantona beforehand is not necessary.
According to soccer player Eric Cantona in his worshipful film, the greatest moment in his sports career “was a pass.” With Looking For Eric, the therapeutic assistance offered by the Yoga Berra of soccer proverbs becomes a guiding light for a man who starts off in drastic darkness (the first scene of the movie has a suicide attempt) and ends up on the completely different end of the spectrum. While the hallucinogenic/schizophrenic nature of Eric Cantona appearing to lead character Eric Bishop (Steve Evets) in physical form is hardly elaborated on, this idea lends itself to the general ripe peachy nature of this feel-good movie that alternates between all different shades of black and white in order to really drive home it’s heart.
Of course, the main player of this movie is really Jackie Earle Haley look-a-like Steve Evets, who offers a tender performance as a graying man who seems to be caught up in circles. This father of three only got older physically, but seems to have stopped the process on the inside about two decades ago. He admires Cantona to no end, and has covers his walls with posters of the soccer player. Evets can make Eric look truly hopeless and weak, but the aspect of presenting a lighter side to things in certain comedic sequences is not lost either. Whether he is a flame reading to burn out, or a whole bonfire that has a passion for life, Eric is constantly a warming character.
Looking For Eric scores points that are emotionally high and low, with a coordinated yet unpredictable script offering the assists the movie needs in nailing the various feelings it strives for. You’ll laugh, you may cry, you might even cheer. Don’t be surprised if that roar from your soul is “CANTONA!!!”
FINAL SCORE: 7/10