Written and directed by: Ruba Nadda
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Scott Speedman, Tim Roth, Callum Keith Rennie, and Aidan Devine
Helen (Clarkson) is a recently widowed woman who decides to take a trip up to the family’s island cottage to do some spring cleaning and maybe find some closure in the peace and quiet. She packs up her departed husband’s clothes, reflects on times spent at the cottage together, and the calming effect of being secluded on the island seems to be taking hold. That is until one night, during a storm, a man with a gun wound washes up on her dock. Being a doctor, she tends to his wound and offers to let him stay (against all better judgement) until the weather passes.
Soon after, a local man comes to check on Helen and Will (Speedman) tells her that he is going to kill them both. Instead the man leaves them stranded and goes to fetch his boss who Will explains is a BAD guy. Will tells Helen that the man wants to kill him for revenge, and the two begin fortifying the island against the impending attack.
I am going to start by saying that Clarkson is great in this film, and really shows that she is one of the more underrated actresses working today. Speedman plays his usual hunky, quiet guy with sad eyes and there is the foreseeable hinted romance between him and Clarkson. The issue I had is that the movie is all set up and then a very quick, unsatisfying ending. It goes from being a possible steamy romance, to a tense thriller, to silliness (we’re talking bad guy punching woman in the face and then her making him coffee while he explains why he must kill silliness). Clarkson does such a great job at playing this tough, tender, elegant woman that it is eye roll inducing when she makes poor decisions like swinging her rifle at the bad man instead of shooting him with it. Also, if you were going to pony up the cash to get Tim Roth as your villain, why not give him some dialogue to work with. The guy is a great actor, and yet up until the final five minuted he speaks about five sentences.
“October Gale” has some entertaining moments. The acting is pretty good, and the scenery looks like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. That is just not enough for me though. If you are going to mix genres, you’ve got to bring your “A” game. This just didn’t feel like Nadda’s “A” game to me.