I just watched a good movie, The Outsider, on the Hallmark channel. I love movies and books, and when I see or read a special one, I think about it long afterward.
That’s how I feel about this movie. It was made in 2002 and only had a handful of actors, focusing on a Montana widow, her son, and the outsider, an injured gunslinger who makes his way to her homestead. But it was the acting that got to me and held me to the end, through the maddening commercials, the irritating graphics Hallmark inserts on the bottom of the screen. The woman, Naomi Watts, becomes a widow early in the movie, and a short time later, the gunslinger, Tim Daly, staggers onto her property.
Even though they’re from two different worlds—she’s a Quaker, or Amish, not sure which one, although I believe the group referred to themselves as the Plains—they battle the growing attraction between them. They only touch twice, once about three-fourths of the way in, and the other near the ending, but it was the looks, the expressions they each had when speaking to the other that told their true feelings.
As a writer, it’s that kind of mastery in my craft I’m hoping to one day achieve, to be able to touch a reader the way I was touched by the actors in this movie. And they did it without all the groping and innuendos that are so prevalent today. If I can accomplish that kind of emotion in my writing, then I’ll know I’ve achieved success.