Saving Grace
directed by Nigel Cole
(Fine Line, 2000)

I stumbled across this movie recently and couldn't even recall seeing a trailer for it before. Oh well, I usually like movies other folks don't, so I took it home. I was not prepared to hoot and howl, but that's exactly what I did!!

Grace Blethyn (Brenda Blethyn) has recently been widowed -- her husband cracks up and exits an airplane at 30,000 feet, sans parachute -- and has no idea just how tragic her new status will turn out to be. The husband, who we never meet, leaves her 300,000-plus pounds in debt and she, being the lady of the manor, has no skills with which to correct the situation -- we think.

Creditors start calling, property is seized and checks are bouncing like soccer balls. But Grace is not prepared to give in easily, and neither, it turns out, are her friends in the small Cornish coastal village where the movie takes place.

Facing her dilemma, and with the help of her gardener, Matthew (Craig Ferguson), Grace sets out to make money using her premier gardening skills and Matthew's marijuana. Out go the hothouse orchids and the real fun begins. The pair is convinced the town is totally unaware of their little venture, but the town has "turned a blind eye" to her scheme because they haven't the heart to turn her in ... and because they enjoy the nightly lightshow her gardening requires.

Add to the mix a "secret" mistress, drug dealers both high and low in the industry hierarchy, the local garden club, a bevy of police officers, a very large bonfire and Martin Clunes as the wonderfully amiable Dr. Bamford -- it's great entertainment for a couple of bucks. Prepare to enjoy yourself.

[ by Sheree Morrow ]
Rambles: 20 August 2001

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