If there is such a thing as a very old soul, Jena Malone has one. For someone who is not quite old enough to legally order a drink, she has amassed an impressive body of work that showcases not only her considerable talent, but also a commitment to intelligent, thoughtful films that do more than just kill a few hours at the local cineplex. SAVED!, with its take on fundamentalists, religion, and real spirituality, is no exception. When I spoke with Malone on April 5, 2004, religion as a topic was a given, but the conversation also included Darwinism, media-imposed images, and how to play dark roles without losing perspective.
What would Jesus do? That’s the theological conundrum at the heart of SAVED!, a smart, sharp, and ultimately compassionate consideration of just that question. And before anyone jumps to any conclusions, consider the biblical injunction to judge not lest ye be judged. Open your mind, the way many people in this film just won’t, and let the good times roll. This is a film that thinks were all redeemable, no matter how far we’ve strayed from that original, simple message. The film co-stars Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Martin Donovan, Patrick Fugit, Chad Faust, Eva Amurri, and Heather Matarazzo. It was directed by Brian Dannelly from a script he co-wrote with Michael Urban.