A Dark Place | Chicago Reader
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A Dark Place

Part psychodrama, part murder mystery, this aptly retitled indie (formerly known as Steel Country) stars Andrew Scott as a developmentally disabled single father in a sleepy rust belt Pennsylvania town who suspects that the drowning of a local youngster was no accident. One of Ireland's most compelling actors (his Moriarty in the PBS series Sherlock is the definitive portrayal of the archvillain), Scott here fascinates as a vulnerable yet remarkably resilient odd duck whose complexes are so variegated he's like a walking one-man version of the DSM. To wit: his naivete and arrested emotional states lead him to identify with the dead kid and stubbornly needle the cops by buying into the victim's mother's cries of foul play and cover-up. He has obsessive-compulsive tendencies that make him surprisingly suited to the role of amateur detective, but he's prone to hearing voices in his head, which get in his way. Most importantly, he functions at the higher end of the autism spectrum, often abrasive among others but capable enough to hold down a trash collector's job, drive a truck, and, as it turns out, exhume a corpse. Simon Fellows directed; with Bronagh Waugh as Scott's pretty coworker, Denise Gough as his trashy ex-lover, and Christa Beth Campbell as his daughter, all of whom think they're smarter than the hero (they're not).

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