A western love story revolving around the forbidden love between a young widow from a Mennonite-like religious group and a cold-blooded gunslinger whom she takes into her home after he is wounded.
From the same director
Tim Daly (Johnny Gault), Naomi Watts (Rebecca Yoder), Keith Carradine (Noah Weaver), David Carradine (Doctor Lucas Henry), Thomas Curtis (Benjo Yoder), Brett Tucker (Ben Yoder), John Noble (Fergus Hunter), Grant Piro (Woodrow Wharton), Peter McCauley (Isaiah Miller), Jason Clarke (Ray Childress), Todd Leigh (Mose), Aaron James Cash (Samuel Miller (as Aaron Cash)), Simon Watts (Abram Miller), Eamon Farren (Levi Miller), Kim Knuckey (Sheriff Getts), Mick Roughan (Jarvis Kennedy), Kathryn Smith (Fannie Weaver), Barry Thurlow (Plain Man Wagon Driver), David White (Barkeep), Geoff Lyall (Circuit Riding Preacher), Capkin Van Alphen (Cowboy), Imogen Annesley (Bar Girl), Leonie Plummer (Plain Woman), David Pitstock (Blacksmith), Stuart Maybury (Ezra Fischer), Susan Dowideit (Choir Member), Alison Goode (Choir Member), Demis Lyall-Wilson (Choir Member), Patrick Creamer (Amish man), Natasha McDonald (Amish Villager)
Gina Black (line producer), Randa Haines (executive producer), Jeffrey M. Hayes (executive producer (as Jeffrey Hayes)), Mike Medavoy (executive producer), Darryl Sheen (producer), Diane Sokolow (executive producer)
There might be a spoiler in this. I'm not sure. One has to refer to the plot to describe accurately what occurs.
Every so often, a movie comes along with an inspiring cast, a beautiful setting, dialog that sounds like people talking, foreshadow that makes sense and characters that emote deep sympathy.
Though not a great movie, this one is certainly above average and it has all the above qualities present in one form or another.
I think that modern society does not know how to deal with tender emotions. It has a tough time knowing the difference between that which we wish was true and that which really is. Women's novels have been taking it on the chin over this issue for decades. So many novels wind up as women's pornography which means that any sexual contact must be forestalled until the last possible moment when all the conditions of courtship have been met and met again (which takes 3/4 of the average female novel devoted to the subject). Contrast this with men's pornography which has the sexual act moving mountains in the first 20 pages.
One could say, as one reader did, that there likely is a flower on the cover that is, this is typically a woman's story.
I would like to disagree. This is primarily about values. If it was an ordinary movie, it would have ended with their marriage. It did not. He is a man that is reformed. He now knows what love is, something he knew nothing about before he met her.
And because he loves her, he will see that nothing happens to her. Or he will try. He is still very much a man with all of his former values. These values are just better directed.
She on the other hand is not horny. She does not go into heat at the sight of every man or any man. She is attracted to him because he does have values and one of them is to appreciate who she is. He sees worth in her almost as soon as his illness breaks. He appreciates her humor and her humanity. Of course he does not take to being reprimanded over the music, but he is being more playful and teasing than he is outraged and rebellious. He does not want to force her to back down. He just wants her to know that there is more to the world than she knows.
But the discussion of music is just beginning. She reveals that she hears everything around her as a fugue (not her words). He does not seem the least bit surprised.
What we find out is that she is very earthy as well as being spiritual. Her religion consists of everything around her. She would be religious in Helena Montana, New York, or on an ocean liner (none of which are the settings for this movie) because what she feels is all around her and nature creates its own music.
When they finally do make love, it is not lust: it is just another form of music. Her inability to hear is only momentarily covered over by falling into the trap of doing what she thinks she ought to do rather than feeling good about what she knows is best for her.
Naomi Watts is terrific as the lead although one does not think so in the beginning. She does not specialize in soft tender roles.
The male lead and the boy are also good and both are unknown to me as well. But they are both very convincing.
Summary 5 out of 5 if you feel like a romantic drama.
The hauntingly beautiful background music in the movie was mostly Norwegian folk songs - Bla Tonar Fra Lom & Jenta I Saueflokken and although, the "Plain People" in the movie appear to be something like Amish or Mennonites - there were no Norwegian settlements of this kind in the US. Most of these groups came from Germany & Switzerland. Most Norwegians coming to the US during this time period were Lutherans. Also, the hymn they sing during the barn religious ceremony was sung in Norwegian.
O Forasteiro (Brazil) • The Outsider - Nach eigenen Regeln (Germany (DVD title)) • El forastero (Spain) • The Outsider, l'étranger du Montana (France (DVD title)) • Un mystérieux étranger (France (dubbed version)) • Kirekesztve (Hungary) • Kim jestes, przybyszu? (Poland) • Intrusul (Romania) • Аутсайдер (Russia)
Rated R for some violence and a scene of sexuality
nudity, marriage, female nudity, caught in the act, amish, pass out from blood loss, pass out, blood on shirt, fever, nursing back to health, nursed back to health, blood on snow, widow, forbidden love, sex in bed, f rated, father murders son, bar shootout, evil man, whipping, violence, testimonial, teenage boy, talking with the dead, stabbing, splitting wood, splashing water, snow, slingshot, sin, singing, shunning, showdown, shot in the forehead, shootout, shooting, shooting sheep, shooting a boy, sheriff, sheep, sheep farmer, shaving, shackles, settler, saloon, rural setting, runaway, rocking chair, river, rifle, repentance, religion, rancher, rain, prayer, plain people, pitchfork, pitchfork through neck, pistol, piano
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