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1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Randa Haines

A riff on the classic John Wayne Western ANGEL AND THE BADMAN, THE OUTSIDER is a made-for-cable film about love and religion colliding with the machismo and violence of America's Wild West. The lovely Naomi Watts stars as Rebecca Yoder, a religious … see full wiki

Director: Randa Haines
Release Date: 2002
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Outsider

The Outsider

  • Jan 6, 2008
Pros: scenery, music

Cons: ...

The Bottom Line: "I will always be the outsider
Will I always walk the road alone?"
~ Panic Channel

Although the movie is fairly unoriginal and highly predictable, the music and scenery make it a nice watch. Let’s face it, the last time Hollywood had an original thought was the last time I went two days without a Pepsi.

Our group here is a loving family, known as Plain People in a manner reminiscent of Quaker or Amish, in the old west era. Running a sheep farm in the middle of cattle country can make them unwelcome, to say nothing of their strange ways. Plus the head honcho isn’t all that pleasant anyway so I don’t think it would matter if this family was raising sheep, cattle, or chickens, he wasn’t gonna like them.

While out rescuing a trapped lamb, the father was accosted by the locals and hung. End of story for the loving family. The wife, a pretty woman, and young son, continue to work the farm on their own while her brother-in-law starts wooing her, being a recent widower himself. So you can see how the story is working to a conclusion.

Until …….

One dark and stormy night a wounded gunman happens across the farm; widow Yoder takes him in; town tongues begin to wag; you know what’s coming, don’t ya? It is a forgone conclusion from the minute he set foot into her farmhouse and she had to strip him naked to tend to his injuries. Hey, she’s a widow, she ain’t dead, and besides, she is young and pretty.

Well, I won’t continue on with the story. You can pretty well figure it out, although there are a few twists and turns along the way. It wasn’t a bad movie, it wasn’t boring. It was a fairly well made old west romance novel come to life type of movie.

The actors did a decent job; Tim Daly as the gunslinger, in one of the few roles he hasn’t been a cleanly shaven, shiny faced man. Frankly I liked his look in this movie and I liked his performance. Naomi Watts was pretty, young Widow Yoder. She did a nice job of playing the part of a woman torn between love and love of God.

Keith and David Carradine made their way through the movie. Keith as the brother-in-law with marriage on his mind, David as the country doctor. Just so-so roles, nothing to write home about.

The movie carried an R rating for minor violence and one sexual scene, runtime 2 hours.

The best part of the entire movie was the music and scenery. It was filmed in Australia, Gold Coast, Queensland. The exterior shots were extremely beautiful and well done. A lot of ethereal lighting and shadows. Interior shots were well done, given the darkened interiors of the subject time. A lot of individual shots, focusing on the actor, the situation, and emotional impact, were cleverly done.

The songs sung, during the church services, were Norwegian folk songs and sung in the native language. The background music was very lyrical and mystical.

Overall I was quite pleased in this movie, surprised even. Directed by Randa Haines, writer Jenny Wingfield from the book by Penelope Williamson.



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