Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Waiting for Eric

Bloody brilliant I reckon. Funny, touching and a celebration of the solidarity of community, friendship and family. Plus it has Eric Cantona in it - what could be better? Well, maybe an extra car chase... but no - excellent!

I do have a couple of criticisms but at its heart this is an extremely worthwhile and watchable film. Warning: I saw it with an Australian who told me afterwards that they found it difficult to follow the accents / slang in places. So if you're not English you might have trouble with the fact they speak in Manchester.

Secondly, there are some less than plausible moments, and I'm not talking about the magic Eric Cantona appearing to a dog eared postman. But I can suspend disbelief and the essence of the film, where a man is at the end of his tether with no one to turn to and on the verge of cracking up summons up inner strength to survive is inherently strong.

As always Loach is at his best when the performances are tres relaxed. Drawing on those reserves of social realism has seen him through many a great film and this is no exception but here we are treated to a sprinkle of fairy dust to go with the toughened gristle of hard lives lived.

It's essentially a fun film, which I certainly wouldn't say of other Loach greats like Bread and Roses or Land and Freedom. Walking into the cinema I didn't for a moment have that sinking dread when about to watch something 'worthy' and was not disappointed. It's nice to have your politics sugar coated sometimes and this was playful enough to please a packed audience the whole way through.

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