Saving Grace

on August 04, 2000 by Annlee Ellingson
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   Led by the inimitable Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets and Lies") and the hilarious and underrated (at least stateside) Craig Ferguson ("The Big Tease"), "Saving Grace" is about pot, yes, but it's also about a Cornish community pulling together to help one of its fondest members. Recently widowed and burdened with a debt she hardly knows how to pay, Grace (Blethyn) is pitied by her neighbors, who conveniently lose her grocery tab and sell her items at below cost. About to be let go, her groundskeeper Matthew (Ferguson) asks her one last favor: to use her incomparable gardening skills to salvage his sick plants which, Grace isn't too dim to realize, are hemp.

   The plants thrive under her care, and Grace comes up with a plan to turn her greenhouse, heretofore known for its rare and expensive orchids, into a massive marijuana-growing operation that produces unfathomable amounts of weed within a few weeks. There's something inherently funny, of course, about mounds of pot piled high in this old lady's backyard, but the plot gets even more interesting when she tries to go to the city to find a dealer.

   The townspeople aren't ignorant of what's going on, though Grace believes she's being sly. Artificial light is required to grow the plants, and the nightly illumination becomes a community event, when they pull up their lawn chairs and count down to the heavenly brilliance--but otherwise they turn a blind eye. Until, that is, a couple of Grace's friends mistake her new hobby for tea.

   Slightly silly, "Saving Grace" is good-hearted and all in good fun, told--and enjoyed--in a relaxed state of mind similar to that produced by Grace's saving grace. Starring Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes, Tcheky Karyo, Valerie Edmond and Tristan Sturrock. Directed by Nigel Cole. Written by Craig Ferguson and Mark Crowdy. Produced by Mark Crowdy. A Fine Line release. Comedy. Not yet rated. Running time: 93 min

Tags: Starring Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes, Tcheky Karyo, Valerie Edmond and Tristan Sturrock. Directed by Nigel Cole. Written by Craig Ferguson, Mark Crowdy, Produced by Mark Crowdy, Fine Line, Comedy
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