Looking for Eric in Paris

It rained in Paris this weekend. Not fluttery, forgettable spring showers, no, no... I'm talking blinding downpours, the kind that force you into the nearest McDonald's for shelter along with a dozen other raincoat clad, Eastpak carrying, soggy tourists.

Paris is, of course, gorgeous in any weather but even the most stoic Francophile would have buckled under these conditions. Which is why I make no apology for forgoing the requisite evening walk along the Champs-Elysees and heading for the dry warmth of the local cinema.

Watching Looking for Eric felt at least appropriate: Cantona has become something of a hero to the French since he stepped off the pitch and into the art world taking his philosophical metaphors with him. He certainly got some encouraging laughs from the native cinema-goers for being, well, Cantona.

Looking for Eric

Ken Loach's latest film isn't his screen debut, but it's the first time he plays himself: a retired sporting legend who means the world to certain Manchester United fans, particularly a depressive Mancunian postman who, in the fog of joint smoke, seeks advice and solace from the proverb spouting footballer.

Sounds like a Woody Allen comedy, no? Well, in some ways it is with a dithering wreck at the centre and plenty of witty verbal comedy. But there is a Loach layer to this film (urban, working-class life on Britain's mean streets) that makes it difficult to class, difficult to throw away and very easy to love.

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