Salvation is the tale of Irina (Natasha Novak), Gloria (Wendy Hughes) and Barry (Bruce Myles). Irina has left her native Russia in order to support her mother and daughter. She has found herself involved in a life of prostitution, but regards her new found occupation as a means towards a better life. Her fragile world is constantly threatened by a compatriot with underworld connections.
Gloria is a televangelist with a thriving church franchise. She and Barry are married. A marriage made in heaven so Gloria believes. But the Good Lord is her real partner and associate.
Barry, a biblical scholar, has been supporting and advising Gloria for many years, but now he needs out. He craves human warmth, intimacy and love. He starts to confide and trust in Irina. Whilst Gloria moves closer to her own destiny, Barry and Irina find a new home for their fragile dreams.
The Lord giveth and He taketh. Amen.
Director: Paul Cox
Producer: Paul Cox
Writer: Paul Cox
Cinematographer: Ian Jones
Cast: Bruce Myles, Natasha Novak, Wendy Hughes, Barry Humphries, Kym Gyngell
Born in Holland and settled in Melbourne since the mid-‘60s, Paul Cox is an auteur of international acclaim, having received numerous international awards. He is one of the most prolific makers of films in Australia, with numerous features, shorts and documentaries to his name. He is the recipient of many special tributes and retrospectives at film festivals across the world, including a major retrospective at the Lincoln Centre in New York in 1992.
His films of the early and mid ‘80s – Lonely Hearts (1981), Man of Flowers (1983), and My First Wife (1984) – were highly acclaimed both locally and internationally.
Man of Flowers premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984, and went on to win Best Film at the 1984 Valladolid Film Festival as well as Best Foreign Film at the 1991 Warsaw Film Festival.
Cactus premiered in Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986 and Vincent won the Jury Prize at the 1988 Istanbul International Filmdays.
A Woman's Tale won the Grand Prix at the 1992 International Flanders Film Festival in Ghent and Exile screened in competition at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival.
More recently, Cox's highly acclaimed feature Innocence (2000) won massive audience and critical acclaim, including Best Film and the People's Choice Award at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival; and 5 Australian IF awards including Best Film, Independent Filmmaker of the Year for Paul Cox, and Best Actress for Julia Blake.
Cox’s career continues currently, with features such as Human Touch (2004) and Salvation (2008).
Quoting IMDb: Any Paul Cox film from Australia is of interest to anyone who has seen his body of work: Man of Flowers or Molokai or Lonely Hearts or My First Wife or about 8 others produced in this country in the last 30 years. He basically is a living national treasure, a European immigrant with a love of the human emotion and form whose films reflect the many pitfalls and hopes of ordinary Australians. Perhaps a Ken Loach/Woody Allen combo for those who do not know him. It is worth researching his films and i urge you to do so in these pages. Salvation is a sly comedy about tele-evangelism and the ripple effect through a suburb of disparate people including a lonely husband, a Russian prostitute, her pimp, and the main character's assistant. Just released with minor but strong fanfare it will preach to the Cox converted and certainly allow more than a few surprise laughs, an uncommon thing in a Cox film. One scene involving Barry Humphries as a shy old man visiting the gorgeous Russian prostitute is genuinely touching and very funny. Wendy Hughes also seen recently in comedy The View from Greenhaven is as gorgeous as ever and adds a droll turn as the tele-evangelist Gloria Daye to whom God apparently told her to get a face-lift and ask the congregation for the funds to do it.
Paul Cox is one of the most important filmmakers to come out of Australia ... he is a filmmaker of incredible energy, persistence and vision - all qualities which are crucial to survive as a filmmaker. He is also uncompromising in fulfilling his vision which is almost always achieved with comparatively small budgets of about $1 million. As a director, he has an ongoing screen relationship with many of Australia's greatest actors. The themes in his films - isolation, faith, hope, love, survival - remain the same and reoccur over and over, but above all else his films are about human frailty ...
Philip Tyndall, "Paul Cox - Filmmaker", Senses of Cinema
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