From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jan 21 01:21:21 2017
release date corrected
A PATCH OF FOG
(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)
CAPSULE: This is a compact little blackmail thriller
set in Northern Ireland. Like J.D. Salinger, Sandy
Duffy's reputation is based on one single novel that
he wrote decades ago. That novel's reputation has
supported him since. A celebrity author, he has a
comfortable life with one little self-indulgence.
Every few months he likes to steal some little item
from a local shop. Robert, the security manager at
one shop, catches Sandy in the act on closed-circuit
television. But Robert does not want to get the
police involved. It turns out he is lonely and
desperately looking for a friend. And he decides
that he can just force Sandy to be that friend.
Director Michael Lennox's feature film debut is this
script written by Michael McCartney and John Cairns.
The story is tense even if not particularly new and
fresh. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10
Years ago, Sandy Duffy (played by Conleth Hill) wrote one book that
became a modern classic and was popular enough to make him a
celebrity. He has not written another book since but he is a
familiar face on literary programs on television.
Sandy also has a quirk. Every once in a while when he wants a
thrill he shoplifts some small item for the thrill of the danger.
This time he really has found danger. The security manager of a
shop caught Sandy in the act. That manager is the insular Robert
(Stephen Graham) has caught Sandy on the closed circuit television.
Sandy can see his pleasant lifestyle falling apart and begs Robert
to let him go. It would be "a favor from one man to another." The
pleading should not save Sandy, but Robert gives in. For a while
Sandy and Robert are good friends or Sandy pretends they are. But
Robert does not want to end their companionship. Sandy's
willingness to be pal-sy with Robert starts to wear thin. But
Robert can at any time he wants ruin Sandy's life. What follows is
a neat little cat and mouse game.
The plotline is not unfamiliar. With some minor variations it is
quite similar to FATAL ATTRACTION and perhaps other films involving
One funny touch: it sounds like characters in the film are saying
"acrophobic" when what they really mean is "agoraphobic." Sandy is
not afraid of heights, he just does not want to be around
A PATCH OF FOG is set and (I assume) filmed in Belfast, Northern
Ireland, giving United States viewers a feel that is slightly
exotic and occasionally makes the dialog a little hard to
While some of the plotting may be familiar to some viewers, the
story is a tight efficient little thriller. I rate A PATCH OF FOG
A low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. A PATCH OF FOG will be
released in the United States on January 24th.