Saving Grace (2000) Poster

(2000)

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8/10
The kind of film Hollywood would never dare make
Jose E29 November 2003
I just thought it was excellent and I still do. I'm grateful we're still able to see different stuff from what Hollywood almost floods us with. Saving Grace is smart and enjoyable - those who feel offended by the marijuana thing better go see the America's bride sort of movie.

Saving Grace also shows that a funny movie doesn't have to be stupid. I was laughing my ass off during most of it but also pondering questions about what was the female lead character supposed to do to pay her deceased husband's debts.

In a nutshell - a witty storyline with typical English humour and good acting and directing. You couldn't ask for more.

7/10.
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10/10
What British film making is all about . . .
naomi.rose2 August 2000
Great actors, an oscar nominee actress, stunning scenery, good strong story line and more laughs than you can fit into my new handbag (and thats quite big). This film was brilliant. It was beautifully acted in the more serious scenes and the funny moments were . .well, side splitting. I have never heard a cinema audience laugh so much, and tears were streaming down my cheeks during the 'stoned ladies in the tea shop' scene. Well done to the British film industry and to Craig Ferguson whose magic ingredients have made sure this is one of my favourite films of the year, if not of all time.
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Drug trafficking, the elegant way.
shu-fen21 December 2003
What is so startling to me is the number of comments here. How come, 93! The film has utterly fallen into obscurity in town. I just by chance popped by a VCD shop, which is on sale, and so fortunately to have picked up this hilarious movie (73pence or US$1.29 ^_^).

The film title is just funny enough to make you associate the story with it.

Grace, played by the versatile actress Brenda Blethyn, was in financial trouble. And this small and elegant English village lady cannot but save herself by a not-so-elegant trade through the help of her own gardener and her late husband's unseen mistress in London.

I especially like the daredevil scene when Grace is fully dressed up touting her masterpiece cannabis (cultured in her own green house) to the undesirable figures in sleazy areas in London. Her act is comical, prudent and daring at the same time. I find it hard to imagine a well-dressed and French speaking Chinese grandma would approach me touting home-made grass so reeklessly in Wanchai or Mongkok.

English humour or European subtlety can never be reproduced by Hollywood, the air, the smell, everything belongs to the Brits and Europeans. Lovely small production with bold attempt.
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8/10
A lovable, feel-good comedy
moviesleuth226 November 2009
Charming doesn't even begin to describe "Saving Grace;" it's absolutely irresistible! Anyone who ventures into this movie will leave with their spirits soaring high (haha).

Grace Trevethyn (Brenda Blethyn) has just lost her husband, but her problems are about to get a whole lot worse. Her dearly departed has left her with no money and outstanding debts. Faced with losing everything, she has to find out a way to get a lot of cash...fast! She gets an idea when her gardener, Matthew (Craig Ferguson) asks the town-famous horticulturist to give him advice on a plant he is secretly growing. Grace immediately realizes that his plant is marijuana, so they decide to use her gardening skills to grow a lot of top-quality weed, and then sell it to pay off her outstanding debts.

The most notable quality about "Saving Grace" is its likability. Every character is extremely sympathetic, and, save for the first 20 or so minutes, the film is non-stop good cheer. Everyone wants a happy ending for everyone, even if it means turning a blind eye to some rather illegal activities.

The acting is top-notch. Brenda Blethyn is one of Britain's finest actresses, and here is why. She turns what could have been a caricature into a fully living and breathing individual. She's a nice lady, but she's not stupid. Craig Ferguson is equally amiable as Matthew. He's a deadbeat loser, but he's so likable that it doesn't matter. The rest of the ensemble cast fits in this category as well, but special mention has to go to Tcheky Karyo. The French actor always has a aura of menace about him, and that suits him well, but he also has great comedy skills.

Nigel Cole finds the perfect tone for "Saving Grace." It's all about the charm. One of the problems I have with British humor is that all the energy seems to be drained out of the film. Not so here. The film is thoroughly likable and always amusing. That's not to say that "Saving Grace" is just a likable movie that will leave you with a grin and a good feeling. While this movie is not an out and out comedy, it does boast two or three scenes that are nothing short of hysterical.

If there's any problem with the film, it's that the climax is a little confusing. The questions are answered though, and the ending boasts an unexpected twist.

See "Saving Grace," especially when you're having a bad day.
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9/10
Feel-good movie
yvonatron30 December 2003
This movie is inspiring to anyone who is or has been in a tough jam, whether financially or emotionally. You will definitely laugh, which is the best medicine! :) Left in a bad financial situation when her husband dies, Grace has to find a new way to make some money and it's not exactly legal which adds to the humour. Even my boyfriend liked it so don't think that it's a chick-flic.
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10/10
Delightful
dolores196522 April 2004
Excellent view of a mature woman, that is going to lose everything (even the pruner has a mortgage). The way she gets involved into this special "business", the innocence, and the true love that exists between the people of a little town, it's mixed perfectly to give us as result a fresh, light and funny comedy. I couldn't stop laughing with a very funny scene of two old ladies in a drugstore.

I love European films, and with movies like this one, my opinion grows stronger. A movie that I also recommend with my eyes closed, in this same genre, is Waking Ned Devine.

Saving Grace, a comedy that many friends enjoyed as much as myself. You will love it.
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7/10
Take the high road to a comedy that truly lights up.
Jessica Carvalho18 November 2005
Saving Grace is a nice movie to watch in a boring afternoon,when you are looking for something different than the regular scripts and wants to have some fun. I mean,the whole idea of this movie and all the marijuana in it is such a craziness! It was the first movie I watched with this theme(drugs/marijuana) that is not really criticizing it,only making jokes about it. Grace Trevethyn is a widow,who lives in a small town in U.K. and has many financial problems because of her dead husband, who committed suicide since he was full of debts. The problem is that Grace, who imagined to have some money saved for her, discovers that she needs to pay all of her husband's pounds in debts to not lose all of her things, specially her house that she loves so much. She never worked before, and is in a tragic situation until Matthew,her gardener who is very found of smoking pot, decides to make a partnership with her in selling marijuana in large scale.
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Top banana!
lukeyboy442 July 2003
Saving Grace proves once again that you can't beat a good old dose of British humour. Despite an admittedly dodgy ending, this quaint and charming story of one woman's unique method of raising much-needed money lights up (Weak pun intended) my day every time I watch it. Brenda Blethyn is faultless as always and the ensemble cast are superb. (Especially the legendary Lesley Phillips - this man deserves a knighthood! It's full of comedic gems, too, such as the doctor's 'bad news' regarding one woman's pregnancy. The post-office scene is also destined to become a classic (It's frighteningly realistic, too. I should know...)All in all, only a dope (Yes, another tragic pun) would fail to be enchanted by this wonderful little film.
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7/10
Liked it, but disappointed in the end.
rsd225 October 2002
A delightful gentle comedic gem, until the last five minutes, which degenerate into run of the mill British TV farce. The last five minutes cost it 2 points in my rating. Despite this major plot and style flaw, it's worth watching for the character acting and the unique Cornwall setting. Many fine little bits to savor, like the tense eternity we all go through waiting for the bank approval after the clerk has swiped the credit card...made more piquant when we're not - quite - sure the card is not maxed.
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A Lovely, Charming Movie
John Morrison14 January 2002
A lovely, charming movie in the vein of Local Hero (http://us.imdb.com/Details?0085859): it populates a small coastal town in Cornwall, England with gentle ordinary folk who all get dragged into or affected by a plan to save a lady in the town who has fallen on hard times.

Lots of little fun bits easily lost in first viewing e.g. note who is serving drinks in the bar at the end of the movie :-) And the scene close to the end of the movie where all the inhabitants are dancing on the lawn, including a naked policeman (you can tell he is a policeman because he still has his helmet on!), is absolutely priceless.
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6/10
Mildly interesting and a chance to see the first incarnation of Doc Martin.
MartinHafer12 May 2014
This film begins with a rich guy killing himself. Soon, his widow, Grace (Brenda Blethyn) learns that she is NOT rich after all--as her husband made a long series of bad investments. In fact, the problem is even worse than this--she's about to lose everything because she has so many creditors. Eventually, she and her gardener, Matthew (Craig Ferguson) come up with a plan to get her out of debt--convert her greenhouse into a marijuana production plant.

This film is mildly funny--though I am pretty sure it will offend some as well since it appears to be a wholehearted endorsement of pot use. This bothered me far less than the very end--which seemed really, really, really contrived (and a bit stupid). Still, up until the end, it is mildly amusing. While I'd normally say it's a film you can take or leave, it IS a must-see if you are a fan of the TV series "Doc Martin" as it's the first appearance of the guy (played by Martin Clunes). However, like you'll notice through his three movie appearances and TV show, the character was VERY inconsistent. Here, he's a pot-head and has little to him other than his love of the plant. Not at all an auspicious beginning.
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8/10
A good time filler
albertfromnz18 May 2014
A classic in the stoner genre. This film has all the hallmarks of good English cinema; it has a highly reputable cast, the beautiful English countryside and village locations, and a script which is witty and pithy.

As a whole, it is a sort of classy Cheech and Chong without the slap-stick. The acting is tight and the cast well selected for their roles.

There will be no great surprises to be had in the film once the plot is known, nevertheless, the dialog and performances well make up for its predictability.

Very enjoyable to those who like the genre, although probably a little pedestrian to those who don't.
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4/10
Insulting Ending Ruins "Cute' Movie
ccthemovieman-19 March 2006
A very "straight" nice old lady, desperate for money to save her house and possessions, grows "pot" in her house, smokes it with a few old-biddy friends and then sells it. That's the story for this low-key comedy, emphasizing the absurdity of the situation and some of the humor the predicament brings. For much of the film, it works. The humor isn't of the laugh-out-loud variety but it does keep you entertained for an hour-and-a- half, so I guess it serves its purpose.

There ARE funny moments and Brenda Blethyn is fun to watch in the lead role. But the ending really ruined a "cute" movie with insultingly-bad messages that only the ultra-liberals of the film world would like to see happen.

Like most people, I would prefer a happy ending, too, but it should not all warm and fuzzy for those who blatantly break the law. Also in here are the typical (1) children out of wedlock but that poses no problem and is deemed okay; (2) clerics portrayed as morally weak people; and (3) even a medical doctor who gets stoned, too!

Hello? And reviewers here blast Hollywood? This is exhibit A how a secular society has lowered the standards in the UK and Europe in general. Hey, people: at least have a trace of morality instead of nothing but a Timothy Leary "If it feels good, do it" message.
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10/10
A vy funny film : will make you laugh outloud
wyldewemoon18 July 2006
One of the best films I have seen in years and years. It features Great acting. There are also lots of Wonderful plot twists. It takes place in an Interesting setting. There are plenty of Compelling character arc's. The writers actually used Intelligent dialog. There is Nice soundtrx. I Just ordered it online. I Will be happy to add it to my library. It's not a predictable film and it does not insult your intelligence like so many other formula comedy films of today. You will find it a delight especially if you spent anytime inhabiting the sixties or other times reminiscent of them. I would highly recommend it to anyone who want to settle down and watch something to make them feel gd and have a great time and lot of laughs.
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A delightful little film.
bradgad5 February 2006
OK, the plot has some slightly silly aspects.

But, this is a fine film. I'm really glad I watched it (twice so far).

Blethyn is delightfully sexy and endearing as Grace.

The supporting cast are fine craftsmen to a man and woman.

Really nice music, too. Just right. I would watch it again just for the score.

One could say it's Merchant-Ivory does Cheech and Chong. And in a sense this would be accurate. But, it would miss everything that's endearing and fresh about this well-done film. It would miss the kindness and wit. "Love thy neighbor" is the highest commandment: this film makes the commandment smart and fun.
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8/10
In many ways a typical English comedy
I guess that when you ask someone to name a British movie that deals with drugs, they will almost immediately say "Trainspotting". Well, if there is one movie you can't compare "Saving Grace" to, than it must be that one. These movies have only two things in common and that is the fact that they talk about drugs and that they are English, but any further comparison is useless and impossible.

"Saving Grace" is a movie about a wealthy, small-town English widow who discovers that she isn't as rich as she has always believed. Her husband has committed suicide, leaving her in debt for 300.000 British pounds, thanks to his failed business ventures. Facing the loss of all her belongings and her home, she turns to the only thing she's got left: her skill as a greenhouse gardener. In the meantime her gardener has a few problems of his own. To make some money, he tries to make a few marijuana plants grow in a hidden location, but isn't very successful at it. But then he comes up with a brilliant idea that will help the both of them. They will grow the plants with the help of her gardening skills and her greenhouse, believing that no-one in the village knows what they are doing...

This movie may not be the best one about drugs that you've ever seen and I'm convinced that Hollywood wouldn't even dare to make a movie about this subject, but the makers certainly proved that it is possible to make a nice movie with it, that is more than just worth a watch. This is a very witty and perhaps also a very typical English movie. The story is nice, although the ending is a bit corny, it's charming and has some good English humor to offer, next to some nice acting and directing. This is a very nice movie which I give a 7.5/10.
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9/10
Grace indeed!
Windwalkerz13 April 2002
I loved this movie. I usually rent DVD's at Blockbbuster to play while I am on the computer. I must have played this movie about 12 times. I listened to both sets of commentarys. This movie was fun and Tcheky Karyo melts my M&M's. If you liked this and want to see another great ensenble of UK actors rent "Brassed OFF"
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7/10
Goodness gracious
mar91 April 2002
Yet another example of what British cinema can achieve: a simple story, told and acted well. Brenda Blethyn gives a layered and warming performance as the recently widowed and financially straitened Grace, ably assisted by a solid supporting cast. The "quirky small town" card gets played to the hilt, similar to many TV series and films that have come from the British Isles in recent years (Ballykissangel, Hamish Macbeth and others come to mind). Like the forementioned, this film makes use of some ravishingly beautiful rural scenery, in this case the wet and wild Cornish coast.

Some viewers might find wholesale acceptance of cannabis use a bit challenging, others might find the ending just a little too cute and safe. But it's an enjoyable spliff, to be sure.
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4/10
Disappointing
orianajbrown2 November 2001
Like too many recent British films, this one takes a great cast and gives them a flimsy, cliched script to work with. The performances save it from total disgrace, and it has some charm but it certainly didn't make me laugh. Where are all the great British writers hiding?
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3/10
As predictable as it gets
Hogge11 February 2001
When you get your hands on a British film you expect some sort of quality. And when it comes to acting, camera work, lighting etc; this film does the business. It's done by highly skilled craftsmen. That alone can bring you an enjoyable one and a half hours. But when you look under the layers of professionalism, you don't really find anything. Apart from making you feel good and advocate a drug liberal view, there's really nothing there. The script is mediocre, the plot is predictable and the ending must be one of the worst east of Hollywood. In all it's English cosiness, it's just a shameful and cynical attempt to make another "Full Monty". Why they made this film? I haven't got a clue, apart from making money of course.
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8/10
lovely movie
peppone24 May 2006
I saw it last night on TV, and was quite delighted.

It is sort of the movie which makes you feel nice and warm around heart, and believe that there is still some goodness in the world (all the neighbours pretended not to see what grace was doing in order to help her and protect her- the old policeman is my favourite), although you know that this story is not quite realistic.

I loved acting (they all seemed just as ordinary, common people, living in small picturesque English coast town) but the greatest thing in the movie was the wit and humor it has! Just remember the scene in the shop with two old ladies after they had their "tea"!!

Perhaps the ending was a little bit confusing, but it didn't stop me from really, really enjoying the whole story!
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6/10
A nominal telling of a clever story.
George Parker22 December 2000
"Saving Grace" is a light-hearted comedy/drama about a penniless widow's creative approach to saving her estate. This very British film is only a nominal production, but Brits and non-Brits alike should enjoy the wry, witty, and clever story and some fine British actors. Will be appreciated most by those who enjoy British humor.
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"Cheech & Chong Meets Benny Hill"
george.schmidt28 April 2004
SAVING GRACE (2000) **1/2 Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes, Tcheky Karyo, Jamie Foreman, Bill Bailey, Valerie Edmond, Tristan Sturrock, Clive Merrison, Leslie Phillips. (Dir: Nigel Cole) Craig Ferguson, best known as the unctuous British boss of Drew Carey on 'The Drew Carey Show', has a unique gift for making ridiculous situations actually enjoyable as he proved earlier this year as a gay Scottish hairdresser with a dream in 'The Big Tease'. Here he plays a straight Scottish gardener with a penchant for a particular herb in this frequently amusing comedy.

Oscar nominee Blethyn stars as Grace, a recently widowed British horticulturist who suddenly is faced with the possibility of bankruptcy after her banker informs her that her late husband owed a mountain of debt and no funds to provide her with a blanket of security. Deciding on her fate she turns to Matthew (Ferguson) her well-meaning Scotsman groundskeeper after he asks for her green thumb in his dwindling marijuana plants on the property of the local vicar. Seeing the forest for the trees – so to speak – Grace agrees to help Matthew and the two wind up with a cash crop of pot in the double digit kilos to serve as a nest egg as the creditors swoop in like vultures.

Blethyn, one of the more underrated actresses of her generation, provides a certain vulnerability to the flakiness that ensues and is allowed to emote on all levels particularly her first venture into toking a joint with blissfully funny results if not topped by her attempt to solicit a proper dealer in London's Notting Hill.

Ferguson – who co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Crowdy - also continues to show his true colors as a comedian and an actor, especially in his sweet loving moments with his girlfriend Nicky (Edmond), the local fisherwoman, who becomes pregnant and a constant ethical reminder to his larcenous ways.

The film only falters in the final reel as the entire hamlet winds up getting high and comes across as a bizarre hybrid of 'Cheech & Chong Meets Benny Hill'. Otherwise a diverting way to pass the time even if you're having the munchies.
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4/10
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Jennifer Litchfield15 February 2004
Saving Grace is surely one of the leading contenders for the 'How to Ruin an Adequate Film in the Final Few Minutes' award. Naturally if you mix a quaint Cornish village - largely populated by retired genteel ladies - with a liberal dose of marijuana, a certain amount of silliness will ensue. However, the last seven minutes of the film descend into the totally ludicrous and is not even redeemed by being particularly funny. It is a real shame, because this comedy has the potential to be every bit as good as 1998's Waking Ned Devine, which also portrayed a picturesque small village and its oddball inhabitants trying to extract themselves from a tricky situation.

The protagonist of Saving Grace is middle-aged, recently widowed Grace Trevethyn, whose husband's legacy of bad debts has forced her into an unconventional way of earning money. Helped by her gardener, Matthew, she turns her horticultural expertise to the lucrative cultivation of marijuana. Unfortunately, this leads her into confrontation with the local police, her husband's creditors and a French drug baron. . . . . . . . . . whom all turn up at her greenhouse simultaneously. The relationship and rapport between Grace and Matthew is well-portrayed, and Brenda Blethyn gets the viewer emotionally involved with her likeable character - you can really feel what she is going through.

The casting of the minor roles is excellent, even if some of them are rather outlandishly eccentric. However, the transformation of Jacques the drug lord into Grace's romantic interest is highly implausible and does not fit the tone of the movie at all. And surely hydroponics is not such a revolution in the world of cannabis growing? Sadly the film swaps gentle humour for slapstick and ends up being as fake as the marijuana plants.
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