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Review: October Gale

Patricia Clarkson is a widow with a gun, Scott Speedman is the handsome stranger who washes up on her dock one stormy evening.

Due to having no boat (it’s in the shop) and no reception she has no choice but to patch up his bullet wound on her own. Lucky for him she’s a doctor back in Toronto. She soon learns that he is being pursued by a man (Tim Roth) who is seeking revenge for the accidental death of his son.

The problem with October Gale is not the concept itself but rather the lack of character development. For such a slow-paced thriller one would expect the characters to compensate for the lack of thrills but despite a strong performance from Clarkson they do not. There just isn’t much to work with in the script in terms of dialogue and plot, which is a shame since the potential is there.

Most worrisome about the film is the budding romance between Clarkson and Speedman. It literally comes out of nowhere and appears to be based on little more than the fact that she is a grieving widow and he is a mysterious hunk that has literally landed at her feet. It’s great to see an older lady romancing a younger guy on screen, in a way that is not meant to be comical or judgemental. It would have been nice to see this side of the film fleshed out a little more but as it is, it just isn’t believable.

October Gale was shot on location in Parry Sound and the low aerial shots of the Thirty Thousand Islands are truly stunning.