October Gale (2014)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Canada, 2014.  Killer Films, Foundry Films, Pacific Northwest Pictures, Blue Ice Pictures.  Screenplay by Ruba Nadda.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Patricia Clarkson plays a recently widowed doctor who decides to hole up at the island cabin where she and her husband ( in flashbacks) created many happy memories before his accidental drowning just a few months earlier. Looking forward to the solitude in her cozy home amid dreary, autumnal weather, she is snapped into action when a mysterious young stranger () crawls through her front door on all fours, bleeding from a bullet wound. She patches him up and tries to get his story out of him but is only given evasive answers, until it becomes clear that bad men are on their way in search of a man intending to kill him and she realizes he’s in a heap of trouble. A great cast highlights a moody, exciting chamber piece that builds quite expertly to its climax with terrific sequences of detailed process: watching Clarkson do her handiwork on Speedman’s wound, or watching as they go through the motions of preparing their cabin for the Straw Dogs-level showdown displays the kind of delicate attention to the little things that director Ruba Nadda usually reserves for emotional interaction in more romantic movies. The actual climax could be slightly more drawn out, it resolves a tad too quickly to be explicitly satisfying, but it’s still a memorable thriller that benefits greatly from beautiful cinematography and the great chemistry between the leads.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2014

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