King Eric dispenses words of wisdom in the fantasy football film Looking For Eric

Eric Cantona, the French footballer, still given almost mythical status by Manchester Utd fans, stars in Ken Loach’s latest, Looking For Eric.

The great news is it isn’t anything like as grim as the director’s usual output despite it being set up North.

Mind you, depressed Manchester postman, Eric Bishop (Steve Evets), has a lot to be grim about.

He lives in a tip of a house with his ungrateful stepsons from his second marriage Jess (Stefan Gumbs) and Ryan (Gerard Kearns).

He’s haunted by the breakdown of his first marriage to Lily (Stephanie Bishop) and he has panic attacks.

His workmates are worried about him and in an amateur counselling session encourage him to nominate a hero he’d ask for advice.

Therefore Eric starts to ask himself: ‘What would Eric do?’

Miraculously Cantona appears to him in a dope-induced haze and then sticks around to accompany Eric on his rounds, try to get him fit and dispense his unique brand of philosophy.

He still looks pretty sexy too, though I guess he’s too high-minded to be bothered with such trivia.

Where the film comes slightly unstuck is in a subplot involving Ryan and a local thug.

But it’s funny, moving and Eric Cantona is charming as himself – though I don’t think he should ever tackle Hamlet. 

Looking For Eric

Certificate 15