Saving Grace

UK release date: Mar 26 2008

cast list

Brenda Blethyn
Craig Ferguson
Leslie Phillips
Martin Clunes

directed by
Nigel Cole

Middle-aged housewife gets berieved by her debt-ridden husband and ends up being on the wrong side of the law. How? Well, she cultivates drugs, don’t you know.

Said middle-aged housewife is here played by the excellent Brenda Blethyn, twice an Oscar nominee. She is as ever pleasant of aspect and polite, even when she gets high on some of her products, cultivated with the help of Craig Ferguson.

The two have a great on-screen rapport, not least because she looks so tiny next to his huge frame. Everyone knows they are the good guys, so even the policeman turns a blind eye to their efforts.

This is a strange film which starts lumpen and miserable, making one immediately think of past British films which are all too realistic to offer diverting evenings of entertainment, but it rapidly changes direction. Even Leslie Phillips, in his most straight-laced role since Empire Of The Sun, looks ready to burst into laughter at any given moment, drugs or otherwise.

Martin Clunes is solid support as always, and it is to his character that the central message is left – people should be able to smoke de nice ‘erb maaan if they choose to.

Pleasing, indeed surprisingly so, witty and in places hilarious, this is a great film if you don’t need American accents to make your evening worthwhile. Its attempts to make cannabis smoking a part of mainstream culture seem to have been largely overlooked by the media, and maybe that’s a good thing. Without too much hostile reaction, maybe the perverse ban on the drug will be lifted and our paternalistic government will find something more worthy with which to occupy its time.

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