a melodramatic biblical western (on DVD and VOD)

DVD Saved by love 00

Artistic note: Red StarRed Starhalf red stargray stargray star(2.5/5)


In 1850 California during the gold rush, Angel is a child who is sold into prostitution. After years of violence, self-loathing and contempt, she meets Michael Hosea. Love will help heal his wounds.

• Original title: Redeeming Love
• Media tested: DVD
• Genre: drama, romance
• Year: 2022
• Production: DJ Caruso
• Cast: Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Eric Dane, Famke Janssen, Logan Marshall-Green, Nina Dobrev, Livi Birch, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell
• Duration: 2 h 08 min 53
• Video format: 16:9
• Cinema format: 2.39/1
• Subtitling: French
• Soundtracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 English, French
• Bonus: trailers (6 min 40)
• Publisher: Sage Distribution

Art commentary

As its title clearly suggests, Saved by love is a dramatic film about redemption, but the romantic plot should above all be understood as a testimony to the benefits of religion. The screenplay adapts the first novel of Christian inspiration by the best-selling author Francine Rivers: “Redeeming Love” (1991) in which she transposed the ” Book of Hosea (Old Testament) in Western American Gold Rush folklore. This text recounts the marriage of the prophet Hosea with a prostitute, a symbol of unconditional love (with his wife and with God). Filmed under the golden light of Cape Town (South Africa), Saved by love did not arouse enthusiasm despite the aesthetic quality of the photography and the choice of charismatic actors, Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis, young and handsome… but hardly believable. Despite several scenes in which his character (Michael) is supposed to work the land, Tom Lewis always looks elegant and impeccable. As for Abigail Cowen (Angel), who embodies a young woman who drags behind her a life of drama, blows and sexual turpitude, her photogenic beauty is never questioned throughout the story. Among the secondary roles, generally simplified and schematic, we note the successful performance of Famke Janssen as an unsympathetic landlady (Duchess), a very singular job for this former james bond girl and actress of X-Men ! If we disregard its biblical inspiration, Saved by love seems hardly believable: its theme and its predictable linear narration (from sin to redemption) would have deserved a more naturalistic evocation than this shoddy West Hollywood and a sharper writing of the characters. The multiplication of the abuses suffered by the heroine, including in her youth presented in flashbacks, confines to the almost exhaustive catalog of human perversions to better intensify the dimension of redemption, a narrative process well attested in the Bible, but poorly adapted to a feature film. The production also has a hard time avoiding melodramatic effects (sunset or sunrise), heightened by the syrupy music of Brian Tyler and Breton Vivian, and minimizing the proselytism of the story. Entirely focused on the notion of forgiveness, Saved by love cultivates its potential as a philosophical tale which affects the credibility of its plot and which hesitates between the naturalistic description of the sexual sequences (very watered down) and its status as an edifying family spectacle. These antagonisms damage the perception of the story, the implausibility of which cannot be compensated for by the beauty of the images (the film was released on blu-ray in the USA…). Artificial and unconvincing.

DVD Saved for Love

Technical Comment

Picture : SD copy, correct definition but limited sharpness on close-ups and details, well-controlled contrast, bright images and sustained blacks, warm calibration and colorimetry, shimmering natural tints and nuanced tones

His : 5.1 English mixing, clear and balanced dialogues, excellent dynamics on atmospheres and symphonic music, open spatialization with fairly immersive surround effects (city noises, horses, storms), occasionally effective LFE; VF 5.1, clear and dynamic, neat dubbing

Our opinion

Picture : Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf red stargray star(3.5/5)
Sound mixes: blue Starblue Starblue Starblue Stargray star(4/5)
Bonuses: half red stargray stargray stargray stargray star(0.5/5)
Packaging: blue Starblue Starhalf blue stargray stargray star(2.5/5)

IMDb :

DVD available on Amazon

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a melodramatic biblical western (on DVD and VOD)