Directed by David Caffrey starring Robbie Coltrane, Dan Aykroyd, Brenda Blethyn, Eanna Mac Liam, Jim Norton & Tony Briggs.
After a lifetime of handing his wages over to Dublin bookies, med school porter Brendan Delaney (Coltrane) thinks he's the discovered the ultimate way to get rich quick. Not a formula, not a tip, but a head, known as 'Bobby' and stored in a jar of formaldehyde in the college basement.
Bobby once rested on the shoulders of an Aborigine leader but 200 years later, through a scheme involving numbers on the side of his jar, he comes back to life to help Brendan pick the daily winners. But just when it seems the fun will never end along comes Miller (Briggs), a representative of the Australian Government who wants to take Bobby back home. And with the bookies wondering how a no hoper gambler can have such a run of luck, Brendan needs all the friends he can get as he tries to keep his head…
A Canadian-Irish co-production, 'On The Nose' is a light but charming caper with a major IOU to the Ealing comedies of old. With such an over the top premise, both director David Caffrey and writer Tony Philpott could be forgiven for neglecting the story and ploughing headfirst into the gags, but the film is well paced and features some touching drama between Coltrane's character and his long suffering wife (an underused Brenda Blethyn).
Coltrane is as watchable as ever and there are some fine moments between himself and Eanna Mac Liam and Jim Norton as his chalk and cheese workmates. The letdown however, is that none of them have enough scenes with Dan Aykroyd. Playing the role of the hard up college dean with his trademark worn out harassment you feel that if Aykroyd had more scenes in the basement with the porters and less in his office, 'On The Nose' could have offered smirks and guffaws in equal measure.
That said, the outcome will keep you guessing and you'll marvel at how such an outlandish idea ever translated into such a cohesive film.