When she is left behind by her partners in crime, Ashley is caught by the police and arrested following a break-in she assisted with. After being released from juvenile detention, she is assigned to kinship care under her Aunt Diane. Ashley’s aunt hopes to provide a structured atmosphere on her horse farm for the troubled teen and hopes to lead her to faith in Christ. But as Ashley’s past keeps calling her back, Diane finds herself at the end of her rope. That is, until Ashley grows close to a struggling horse on a neighboring property and tries to nurse him back to health. Little do Ashley and Diane know that healing can come from unexpected places.
Production Quality (0 points)
Ugh. That pretty much describes this production. It looks like it was filmed with a camcorder, sometimes shaking around in someone’s hand, sometimes on a tripod, and sometimes sat on a table some distance away. More often than not, characters are cut out of the shot or are only partially in the shot since there is obviously no adjustable camera equipment. Other camcorder qualities include tinny sound and grainy video. There are lots of wasted ‘artistic’ shots of leaves, grass, and trees, accompanied by clanky piano music. The sets and locations are basically people’s backyards and living rooms—not that there’s anything wrong with this, but they’re not utilized properly. In short, Saving Winston is extremely and obviously cheap; no professionalism is exhibited here.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
So, what exactly is the plot here? Why does this plot even center around a horse that gets less than 50% screen time? It seems like there could have been an interesting plot about juvenile delinquency issues, but there is just nothing here. The characters are hollow, fueled by lifeless dialogue. With so few characters, excellent dialogue is needed, but not received. The aunt character, who is supposed to be the Christian guide of the plot, comes off as abrasive and rude. Saving Winston just boils down to a collection of scenes depicting people driving around, working with horses, doing Bible studies, and having juvenile arguments. Box Office Revolution has never reviewed such an empty plot.
Acting Quality (0 points)
This very small cast was neither given good coaching nor interesting lines to work with. Victoria Emmons has demonstrated the ability to act better in other movies, but not this one, probably due better crews in other films. In Winston, line delivery is either forced or mumbled and emotional delivery is borderline comedic. Unfortunately, there is once again nothing good to highlight here.
Everyone has meager beginnings, but it doesn’t have to be this bad. Winston should have been a short film that concisely and clearly communicated its intended point. Many new filmmakers have used short films to begin their careers; Shane Hawks could have easily done this and saved time and money. As it is, Saving Winston made no impact on the market accept to further tarnish the reputation of Christian films.
Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points