Slight , but Enjoyable, 18 June 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
A quintessentially English film, but with a Gallic twist, this story should appeal to an audience far beyond the denizens of the Stretford End. In essence, a modest morality tale, a first half which fades dangerously is kick started by a plot development which sees things through to a happy, and satisfying conclusion.
Steve Evets plays, Eric, a down trodden, down on his luck Postman who is saved by his namesake Eric Cantona finding minor redemption from his life’s trials and tribulations. Cantona is impressive and convincing, playing himself with a wistful enigmatic quality that legend determines he has.A solid cast includes Everyman Northerner John Henshaw as best mate Meatballs and an enjoyable cameo by Lucy-Jo Hudson as daughter Sam whom many will recognise as Katy from Coronation St.
The humour is wry, rather than laugh-out-loud, and the first half succeeds so well in creating an impoverished, crushed, defeated air that it almost implodes.By contrast,the second half, with a purpose,means the minutes zip along as the pace, dialogue, editing and story advance.The running time at almost two hours gives ample time for the characters to breathe, pretty much a trademark of Director Ken Loach.This work leans more heavily on the verite of his early documentary “Cathy Come Home” than the lushness of The Wind That Shakes The Barley”.Yet Cantona lifts proceedings with his every appearance suggesting that a serious film career may beckon.
Authentic, well observed, raw in places, this film puts people first and is faithful to both Northern life, and the enigma which is Cantona