Picks and Pans Review: Haven
Show of the week
The newspaper hawker cries, "Today's news—D-Day invasion!" Each time a Holocaust survivor tells a heartrending story, we hear a mournful violin. But for every cliché or melodramatic excess, this World War II miniseries offers a moment of powerful emotion.
Natasha Richardson stars as Ruth Gruber, the Interior Department official assigned to accompany 1,000 Jewish refugees on a troop ship from Europe and shepherd them to an Army camp in Oswego, N.Y.—where their "temporary" settlement turns into a 17-month confinement. Though she affects a Brooklyn accent that takes getting used to, Richardson becomes completely convincing as a woman determined to succor Hitler's victims despite small-town prejudice and an inflexible Washington bureaucracy. She gets strong support from Colm Feore as a refugee entertainer and Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days) as the local merchant who gradually learns tolerance.
Bottom Line: Haven worth seeking