Year: 2003
UK: Momentum Theatrical
Cast: Michael Caine, Dylan Moran, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Lena Headey, Michael McElhatton, Ben Miller, Alison Doody, Abigail Iversen, Simon Delaney, Alvaro Lucchesi, Michael Colgan, Deirdre Walsh, Bill Hickey, Veronica O'Reilly, Paul Ward, Brian McGuinness, Ian Fitzgibbon, Brian McGrath, Alison McKenna, Annie Ryan, Jude Sweeney, Joanne Crawford, Rachel Rath, Deirdre O'Kane, Guy Carleton, Sean Tracey, Aisling O'Sullivan, Damien O'Donnell, Eamon Glancy, Donagh Deeney, Marty Whelan
Director: Conor McPherson
Country: Ireland
UK: 91 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains frequent strong language
UK Release Date: 16 May 2003


Anthony O'Malley (Michael Caine) is a vain and ageing classically trained actor who laments the fading of his 'glorious past', when he made a decent living from voiceovers and American TV. O'Malley plays a self styled mentor to Tom (Dylan Moran), a young and aspiring thespian whose career is going nowhere more exciting than failing a humiliating audition for a bad sausage ad. Stuck in a rut and earning a pittance in an hilariously misconceived Dublin production of Shakespeare's Richard III, the pair are rooted in the grim realities of a business based on illusions, and are at an all time low.

One night, O'Malley reveals to Tom that he has been frequenting one of Dublin's more notorious pubs, supposedly seeking inspiration for his performance as the evil Richard III. Here he has met Barreller (Michael Gambon), a gormless and fairly harmless, softcore criminal. O'Malley has learned of a debt owed by Barreller to a London gangster, the mysterious Magnani, whom Barreller has never met.

Spotting what he considers to be a foolproof swindle, O'Malley proposes that Tom masquerade as one of Magani's hoods and intercept the money owed by Barreller, telling Tom this will serve as invaluable (and much needed) acting training for him. Tom is appalled at the idea until a freak accident reduces his house to a pile of ash, leaving him with little choice but to rise to the challenge.

This is the point at which things start to go wrong. What should have been a simple one stop trip to easy cash turns into a spiral of cover ups which see Tom, with the help of his niece Mary (Abigail Iversen), having to adopt more and more characters to prevent his cover being blown. However, the more characters Tom creates, the more his confidence grows and it soon becomes apparent that despite being an appalling stage actor, in real life he can hold his own rather well.

The situation is further complicated when Tom falls for Barreller's beautiful daughter, Dolores (Lena Headey) who starts to see through their dwindling plan. And if that wasn't enough, the ruthless gangster Magnani (Miranda Richardson) makes the trip from London to Ireland in an attempt to establish the whereabouts of her missing cash.

Appearances belie reality and as the madness gains momentum, hilarity ensues in this classic comic farce of mistaken identities.