A Small Fortune is a Small Film with big ambitions. Written and directed by Adam Perry it is set on Canada’s Prince Edward Island where its story is a staple of indy cinema – that of the man who finds a load of dodgy money – and here it’s on a the island’s beach that Kevin (Stephen Oates) follows the family tradition harvesting Irish moss, a sort of superfood seaweed, Rightly the film has been set somewhere that isn’t the UK shores where ploughing of the beach is likely only to yield used condoms and raw sewage. But what he does find one day is a whole load of high value currency notes in different colours that looks like a disastrous attempt to play Monopoly on a windswept beach.
But this sudden finding of riches comes at an ideal time for him with his wife expecting their first child and his harvesting of the seaweed is earning less and less money hardly surprising when eating a mouthful of green sludge was a market that had been cornered by the Pizza Hut salad bar. But his wife Sam (Liane Balaban) starts to get suspicious as the sudden new found wealth that has Kevin buying food and baby items that previously they were having to save hard to buy.
Obviously the money is from an ill gotten source so it’s not long before a gangster turns up trying to locate his cash and it’s from here that the bodies begin to pile up. The local sheriff is overqualified for such a small town but that’s how he likes it wanting an easy life and only too content to square away low level offences but finds that his eager constable wanting to get stuck in and neither really have a choice but to up the ante when the bodies start to pile up.
A Small Fortune is very much in the realms of a Coen brothers movie with a simple story that they inventively play with but there’s none of that here and is pretty run of the mill with only really the third act engaging as the fall out of what Kevin has done begins to kick in. It’s unfortunate because the story is a cinema staple which there’s never a problem it you give it a modern twist or play with form but there’s none of that here and the dialogue needs a polish. But at only 90 minutes long it’s the right length if not the right story to have been used without bringing something new to the table.
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Here’s A Small Fortune trailer……
A Small Fortune is available via Digital Download from 8th May 2023