Have y’all seen anything on Freevee? A few weekends ago, I came across this movie (which originally aired on Showtime). The Outsider (based on the novel by Penelope Williamson) is a Western/drama/romance set in the late 1880s; it was filmed in Australia. It is centered on the (forbidden) love btwn a widowed mother, Rebecca Yoder (Naomi Watts), from a (Mennonite-like) group and a gunslinger, Johnny Gault (Tim Daly), who she takes into her house after he is shot. Noah (Keth Carradine) is Rebecca’s friend/neighbor; he is a widower w/ a teen son. The community’s doctor is played by his (real-life) older brother, David Carradine. Fans of the LOTR trilogy will recognize the main villain, Mr. Hunter (John Noble- a veteran Aussie actor). The director (Randa Haines) has worked on several critically-acclaimed films.
This is NOT the typical (shoot ’em up) Western, though there are scenes of action. The scenery is V nice, though the sets, costumes, etc. are simple. Rebecca’s community members are called “the plain people” and they avoid confrontation and violence. In an early scene, we see what lead to the death of her husband. The townspeople try to take advantage of this peaceful community sometimes. The worst one of all is Mr. Hunter, a powerful/feared man who wants to expand his land holdings. About a year later, a man dressed in dusty/dark clothes stumbles onto her land w/ a bullet lodged in his gut. Quickly, Rebecca and her young son (Benjo) take him into their log cabin. Rebecca is shocked when she unwraps the guns, knives, and bullets that this man carried on his person. We wonder if this is a good man or one that is a criminal (who could cause her harm)! The doctor removes the bullet and predicts that the outsider will die soon. However, Rebecca is NOT convinced; she prays for his life and helps him recover (going out of her way).
Why would anyone want to cover up something so beautiful? -Johnny asks Rebecca (who covers her hair)
After a rocky start, Rebecca and Johnny get to know each other as he heals. She’s pleasantly surprised to know that he knows the Bible. Johnny appreciates her humor and humanity. Rebecca is more of a spiritual person; her view of religion consists of everything around her. When Johnny is chastised for playing music, he is playful/teasing w/ Rebecca, not angry. It turns out that Rebecca loves music, BUT it’s not allowed by her people. Rebecca is attracted to Johnny b/c he appreciates who she is. Yes, there are (typical) tropes you find in romance novels, BUT there are scenes that feel fresh and non-cliched. Even today, there are NOT many movies that focus on women’s desire! Watts (who is an Aussie) would go on to some big roles; she always gives a fine performance. Daly (an American; then known for light/comedic roles) gets to show his versatility. They have great chemistry together!
 Every so often, a movie comes along with an inspiring cast, a beautiful setting, dialogue that sounds like people talking, foreshadow that makes sense and characters that emote deep sympathy.
 For anyone that loves reading a good romance novel, this is the movie for you. […] Sexy, intelligent, believable characters, and a smoldering chemistry…
Tim Daly is fantastic in this film. …his character has a variety of facets which are explored in a realistic way.
 Tim Daly – who I had always considered as an actor in light comedy – was extremely impressive as a dark, possibly evil, character. In a movie that could have been just a mixture of Shane/Witness, it brought something new and impelling. It made you care…
-Excerpts from IMDb reviews