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