The Silent Storm is finally OUT on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon!


The long wait is finally over! The Silent Storm is now available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes and on DVD on Netflix. I have not been able to find the DVD on Amazon; however, I will keep trying.

We talked about the movie and the team behind as well as in front of the camera earlier here. We will bring you our own review(s) of the movie once we see the movie – cannot wait! Today let us turn our attention to the man at the center of the brewing storm: Balor McNeil. 


Balor is a self-righteous, self-repressed minister living on a remote island in Scotland. He is married to Aislin (Andrea Riseborough) who had washed up to the shores of the island and was seen by the minister as sent from God to be his wife.

Corinna McFarlane, who directs the movie, in an interview with Indiewire, describes the couple: “Balor is a minister whose world is being uprooted. He has a traditionally male concept of godliness, which is structure and order, whereas Aislin is the weird woman, the Mary Magdalen, the misunderstood woman of nature for whom God is in mother nature; she has a more pagan view.”

Well, it seems the two cannot be more different from each other.

The main source of employment on the island is mining, and when the mines are shut down, the people start abandoning the island for jobs on the mainland. As Balor is obsessively thinking about how to keep his community together, he is also dealing with marital problems at home wit his spirited, independent-minded wife. Add to this mess, Fionn, a “a poetry-loving delinquent” sent to Balor and Aislin’s home for rehabilitation (Ross Anderson in his acting debut in a movie) and we all sort of know where this is going. 

source: BFI London Film Festival
source: BFI London Film Festival

The way Balor sees the world is reflected in his own words:

We each have our duties in this life. To expect happiness in this life is a form of arrogance.

Ouch. The guy is RIGID to say the least. Can you imagine living with this kind of person? Life with Balor should be suffocating especially for a free-spirited young woman like Aislin.

And his strong devotion to duty makes him deeply committed to saving Fionn…

The Lord has sent you to my house because it is my way to the light. The greater the sin, the harder the work.

…and doing whatever it takes to keep his community together: even if it means dismantling an entire church, complete with its pews and possessions, transport it to the mainland on a boat and re-build it there for his congregation.

Everything must be finished. God has spoken to me. And the time is tomorrow.


Damian talks with Kate Muir from the Times about Balor: “I don’t find Balor wild and insane. I find him not dissimilar to some other parts I’ve played. This is a man driven by passions and honesty, which manifest themselves in that autocratic way. He is certainly a victim of his own rigidity.”

Damian tells a little bit more about his character here:

Director Corinna McFarlane talks about “judgment” as a major theme in the film: The reason I’ve given her (Aislin) no back story, had her come from nothing so to speak, is because woman are always judged: Are you married? Do you have children? People feel they need to put women in a context where as men don’t suffer that as much. When Aislin first washed up on the shores, she was seen as a gift from God. But when she turns out not to be what they said she was, they demonize her. Here is a trailer starting with the kind of “judgment” McFarlane is talking about.

And Damian makes an interesting observation about Balor’s relationship to Aislin: “It’s a good depiction of the way in which couples feel that they are owed by the other. If any relationship is to survive, compromise needs to be made… With that act of compromise, somewhere deep inside you, you feel you’re owed, however much you try not to say it. Balor feels he is owed by saving her from death, but he is frustrated because she maintains her independence, her own belief systems. They’re a conundrum as a couple and he never fully understands her.”


Director McFarlane is quite amazed with how quickly Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough looked like husband and wife right away on set: “I was like: ‘How have you done that?’ We were in stitches every time they talked to each other when they were off camera, hanging around, since they were acting married. They were just committed.”


Having said that… Young Fionn obviously understands spirited Aislin much better than her husband does and it is likely that it will be her but not Balor who will “save” Fionn. And Balor’s trip to the mainland for a few days to transport his church gives two young and neglected souls a chance to bond over some poetry and “save” each other…

So a storm is brewing… silently… and may gradually be turning violent.

Ross Anderson, who plays Fionn, talks about a fight scene between Damian Lewis and himself in an interview with Glass Magazine — I presume it takes place, for obvious reasons, after Balor comes back from his trip.

According to Anderson, the two actors took the fight scene pretty seriously, so much so that Anderson ended up with a few bruises and a splitting headache the next morning: “We had a stunt co-ordinator, but Damian and I said to each other, ‘Let’s just go for it,’ and he took that quite literally. He threw me against a tree and I ricocheted backwards, hitting my head. When I woke up the next morning, I had a splitting headache. It was nice to see that in the cinema, and hear the reaction of the audience, which is why we did it – we wanted it to have that effect.”

The fight scene is not the only challenge Damian takes in the movie; another one is — if you have watched the short video clip above, you have already noticed — Balor’s Scottish accent!

It turns out Damian did research to find the right accent: “I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely authentic, theatrical as it sounds. I listened to tapes going back to the Twenties when they were more isolated, and that accent had an almost Scandinavian sound – hup, hew, hy! …But I toned down the accent because it sounds strange to our ears now.”

I am not an expert on accents in any way. But I vividly remember Damian Lewis reading Robert Burns’ “A Red Red Rose” at Cheltenham Literature Festival with a Scottish accent and got a HUGE applause from the audience. He was very happy about it particularly because his Scottish father-in-law was in the audience that day 🙂

And, hey, we are extremely proud to have our own Scot, TBkwrm, on the team! Here is a short note from her:

“I am looking forward to seeing the movie in its entirety to judge fully, but based on the trailer it is sounding very good. The twang is particularly pronounced when he says the word “arrogance”. His accent is also different from the boy who stays with them in the movie. The boy is using a Glaswegian accent and is a city boy. Damian’s character is from the Islands. Due to some harsh (and undeserved) criticism of Damian’s Scottish accent in Colditz, it seems some think we Scots all sound the same which of course is not the case.”


And we highly recommend this short clip where you can find out about MANY Scottish accents in a fun way. ENJOY!

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

13 thoughts on “The Silent Storm is finally OUT on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon!”

  1. What a joy, I will very quickly buy this DVD!
    The character of Damian’s pretty weird, but played by Damian, I know that I
    would love him!

    1. Yes, Balor McNeal does not seem to be a man we will fall in love with, Monique! I admire Damian’s range, he can bring any individual to the screen, small or big, seamlessly. And Balor seems to be just his turf – a self-righteous, self-repressed individual. I can’t wait! And yes as soon as we watch the movie, we will sit down and write about it so we can all talk about the movie together!

  2. Is iTunes the only place the DVD is available? I don’t do either Netflix or iTunes and depend on Amazon which does not have it listed as yet. Anyone have any info on this? Thanks.

    1. Hi Connie: iTunes is for streaming only. Netflix seems to have it on DVD and I am 100% sure Amazon will have it, too, on September 13. I checked Amazon website and they do not have the movie available for pre-order yet but they usually have any DVD available there as soon as it is out. I will check again and will let you know if I have more info.

      1. Thank you! I do hope you’re right as it seems like the only way I’ll get to see any of Damian’s films is on DVD. I do have Our Kind of Traitor preordered and am eager for it to be released. No sign of Queen of The Desert yet. Totally off the subject, are you familiar with Jeffrey Archer: The Truth? It is one of his lesser known pieces but a very interesting one. Shown on British TV only years ago I think.

        1. I just think when a movie is out, it is out in all formats so Amazon should have it the day it is out. But I will keep checking! OKOT is coming to DVD on October 18! I need to make a post about that as well early October so people can get ready for it. I think you’ll like that movie – so my kind of movie! 🙂 Jeffrey Archer: The Truth is one of the pieces Damian did and I have not seen yet. It is not available for purchase, is it? But, of course, I will be hunting it – it’s fun! Have a great holiday weekend, Connie! Hope Hermine does not ruin it for us all.

  3. HOLA!!! Buena noticia lo de Netflix. Aunque no me hago muchas ilusiones…. Netflix de Argentina solo tiene 3 cosas de DL: Homeland, Wolf Hall y Bill…Pero no pierdo las esperanzas…Saludos!!!

    1. Can you buy DVD from Amazon in the US and watch in Argentina? I know Netflix does not have the variety it has in the US in other countries. Bummer!

  4. I got to see The Silent Storm today (really appreciated your tip on its availability from iTunes). However, I was disappointed in it, and usually I have nothing negative to say about any of Damian’s work. Actually, not being critical of his performance, which was fascinating, but everything seemed disjointed to me, perhaps it was the camera work. Would have liked more character development. Sorry folks, but that’s only my opinion of course.

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Connie! I am very happy I could be helpful with iTunes tip. It is a bit strange that Aamazon does not have the DVD but has the movie available for streaming. And YOU ARE FAST! I purchased the movie on iTunes but we had tickets for a concert tonight so I will be able to meet Minister McNeal tomorrow evening! The Silent Storm is a small budget, independent film and I believe it is the director’s debut feature (she only filmed a documentary before this movie). That is why I am not very surprised by your comment. I will give my honest opinion (that is the only way we can be credible after all!) in my review — hope to put something together by Monday.

  5. Apparently the lack of back story on each character was deliberate, but I prefer to know more, especially since it just didn’t flow, more like bits and pieces clumped with no clear order. When and why did they marry? SPOILER here……
    what happened with the pregnancy? The general premise to the whole thing should have been interesting but the lack of continuity prevented the whole thing from holding together. Although I would imagine that on a big theater screen, the awesome scenery would have been some compensation.

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