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No one goes to a Ken Loach movie for comedy or fantasy, and while the great British social realist (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Bread and Roses, My Name Is Joe) is entitled to stretch a bit, this quirky story never comes together. The hero is a glum, middle-aged postman in Manchester (Steve Evets) who’s periodically joined by a wisdom-dispensing vision of footballer Eric Cantona (playing himself). A pleasant sense of community emerges from the postman’s pub crew of Manchester United loyalists, but the movie wanders around forever before a conflict emerges in his stepson’s involvement with a local thug. The zany climax might have worked in another movie; plopped into the middle of Loach’s drab working-class milieu, it seems like a great joke being mangled by someone who can’t tell it. Paul Laverty, Loach’s longtime screenwriter, shares some of the responsibility for this well-meaning misfire. 116 min.


See our full review: The Reader's Guide to the 45th Chicago International Film Festival: Week One

The Reader's Guide to the 45th Chicago International Film Festival: Week One

Selected films making their Chicago premieres at the festival through Thursday, October 15 »

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