On The Nose [Delaney’s Flutter] (2001)

(On DVD, January 2005) There is a whole universe of slight comedies out there on the “straight-to-video” shelf, and this one is no different than most. Featuring solid actors (Robbie Coltrane, Dan Ackroyd) in low-profile roles, a competent script without too much flash and an interesting idea or two, it’s exactly the kind of film completely unsuited to the massive Hollywood marketing machine, which would probably end up creating false expectations anyway. In fact, it’s best to come to this film without any preconceived notions. How else to enjoy a tale of a compulsive gambler who comes to discover the secret to infallible horse-picking through the preserved head of an aboriginal in a jar? (It naturally gets more complicated as the head becomes an object of interest for parties such as the mob.) No, you’ve never heard of the film, and neither have any of your friends. But that’s all right: just have a look. The story is no worse than any of the blockbusters, and the oddly unassuming charm of the production is a strength in itself. Not too bad, despite the thin and laid-back comedy.

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