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King Cantona plays it for laughs in Ken Loach charmer

<!--StartFragment--> <strong>Film</strong><br />LOOKING FOR ERIC<br /><br />AS everyone knows, this film stars Eric Cantona, but the Eric of the title is not the famous French footballer. It is Eric Bishop, a Mancunian postie in his forties whose life is falling apart as he loses control of the two stepsons he is bringing up after his second wife left him. The teenage pair treat him miserably while the older of them is slipping into gang crime. But the real route of Eric&rsquo;s angst is the first wife he left many years ago, when spooked by responsibility in his earlier twenties, leaving her to bring up their daughter.<br /><br />His one constant is his worship of his idol, Cantona &ndash; and when he uncovers some of his stepson&rsquo;s weed stash and smokes it to calm his nerves, he starts having visions of the footballer, who espouses wisdom &ndash; of the best seagulls and trawlers kind &ndash; on how he can sort out his life.<br /><br />Made by arch social filmmaker Ken Loach, Looking for Eric is a gentle comedy about family, friendship and football. For someone with such an austere reputation, Loach has never been beyond wheeling out a bit of romantic whimsy, and this is as charmingly quirky as anything he has done. As postie Eric, Steve Evets puts in a touching and believable performance of the kind we&rsquo;ve come to expect from Loach&rsquo;s stars, and ooh-ah-Cantona&rsquo;s self-parodying turn is a hoot.<br /><strong>Timothy Barber</strong> <!--EndFragment-->