As Ken Loaches latest classic prepares to kick off in Irish cinemas, looks at some other great British pics to get you in the mood.


The classic Ken Loach pic, Kes follows the theme of a lonely young boy finding a friend and a sense of joy in life to help him through his fundamentally unhappy existence. In this case, the friend Billy finds is a kestrel which he tames and trains. Again, this film revolves around the remarkable performance of its young actor (David Bradley). One of the best ever British films, if you haven’t seen it seek it out, just make sure you have the tissues at the ready – it is Ken Loach after all!

Son of Rambow

While in many ways separate, there is a similar warmth shared by the latest Loach pic and last year’s classic British pic “Son of Rambow” . Will is a sheltered child from a religious family becomes enamoured by the wild and supposedly worldly Lee Carter. Together they form an unlikely partnership and set out to make their own version of Rambo. This is a wonderful film with central performances from the two leads that are accomplished without being precocious. A family film to touch even the most cynical of adults.


This film brings us to a Glaswegian council estate in the summer of 1973. The usually squalid settings have been made all the worse by striking dustmen; bin bags stack up in the streets and rats run rampant. Within this setting, a young boy, James experiences a tragedy and begins a tentative friendship with the naïve and animal loving Kenny. Directed by the hugely talented Lynne Ramsay, this film looks beautiful, as Ramsay contrasts the stark council estates with the surrounding countryside, which she films in an ethereal almost dreamlike manner.

This is England

No visit to contemporary British cinemas is complete without a Shane Meadows film. This Is England sought to reclaim the skinhead culture of 1980’s Britain from the spectre of racism. It shows the original skinhead movement as multicultural and positive, an idea which became polluted by a racist element – represented here by the terrifying Combo (Stephen Graham). It is wonderfully evocative of 1980’s Britain and it’s youth culture boasting an appropriately brilliant soundtrack of classic reggae. Thomas Turgoose of Somer’s Town makes his screen debut and puts in an amazingly naturalistic performance as the troubled Shaun.

Looking for Eric is in Irish cinemas from Friday, June 12th.