Road Rash Reviews

Saving Grace Review****-

Cert 15 | 94 mins | 2000

4 star classic darkly funny British crime comedy.

Saving Grace is written by Mark Crowdy (Doc Martin) with a screenplay by Craig Ferguson (How to Train Your Dragon), who also stars. Directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Made in Dagenham), it was originally released to great acclaim in 2000 and interestingly led to the highly successful spin-off series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly) as a rewritten version of Dr. Bamford.

“I can’t believe he even lied to me about the lawnmower. He lied about everything.”

Grace (Brenda Blethyn – Pride and Prejudice, Secrets and Lies) is recently widowed following the suicide of her husband, who jumped from a plane with no parachute. The reason for his suicide soon becomes apparent, as she is informed by her bank manager Melvyn (John Fortune – Bremner, Bird and Fortune) that he has squandered all of their money on failed business ventures.

This leaves Grace with three hundred thousands pounds worth of debt, on top of a beautiful manor house on which she can’t afford to make the mortgage payments. She is a also unable to pay her gardener Matthew (Craig Ferguson), although that may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Grace is a brilliant gardener, she specializes in orchids and Matthew has a problem. Quite a few of the townsfolk are partial to a bit of weed every now and again and he has been trying to grow marijuana in secret in the garden of the local Vicar (Leslie Phillips – Chancer, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). They aren’t growing and he agrees to continue to work for Grace for free if she helps him to take care of his plants.

Initially reluctant, she can’t leave a plant in distress and she soon warms to the idea when she realises how much money they could be worth if properly cultivated. Matthew’s girlfriend Nicky (Valerie Edmond – The Crow Road) has just discovered she is pregnant, although she is yet to tell him, and is very against the whole venture. With half the town in on it and her greenhouse lit up like Blackpool Illuminations, will they get away with it?

Saving Grace is a great film, really good fun and laugh out loud funny in places. It is a proper who’s who of British talent and the acting is every bit as good as you’d expect. It’s not hard to see why this well written and heart warming story was nominated for a Golden Globe award and Brenda Blethyn’s performance, especially when she is stoned, is hilarious and inspired. The ladies from the Women’s Institute also deserve a mention for their very memorable performances.

A fab film, great to see it on general release and well worth adding to your collection.

“Kind of warms the heart, Grace carrying on the local tradition of complete and utter contempt for the law.”

Signature Entertainment presents Saving Grace on Digital Platforms 20th September and Amazon Prime Video 1st October

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DirectorNigel Cole
GenreComedy, Crime
StarringBrenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes, Tchéky Karyo, Bill Bailey