Adapted from the autobiography of Ruth Gruber, "HAVEN" tells her courageous, but still little known tale of how she came to rescue nearly 1,000 Jews seeking asylum during the early part of WW2. While escaping the death camps was their biggest hurtle, finding peace and hope in America was another major challenge. For a man whose only standout experience as a director, other than numerous tv movies, was a film starring Steven Seagal, it's a welcome surprise to find "HAVEN" so well directed. It's never over-the-top or overly sentimental although it would be easy to do so. The cast is terrific and even the minor roles stand out here.
For a film that this reviewer never heard about, it has a big look, and it's wholly satisfying and moving.
BUENA VISTA has preserved the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are solid. There is some minor pixelation and grain appears in some scenes, but it's a generally fine transfer. Contrast is excellent and there's great detail in darker scenes.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital Surround mix. Separation effects are delegated towards the front soundstage. Surrounds only come into play when boosting musical cues. While the mix doesn't call attention to itself, the strength of the story, performances and direction more than compensate for a less than lively mix.