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Saving Grace  

Grace (Brenda Blethyn)
Matt (Craig Ferguson)
Dr. Banford (Martin Clunes)
Nicky (Valerie Edmond)
Jacques (Tcheky Karyo)
Directed by Nigel Cole Written by Craig Ferguson
Rated R for language and drug content
Running Time: 93 minutes Distributed Fineline Features

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Saving Grace is a very humorous and original British comedy. The film centers on the character of Grace (Blethyn), who is a recently widowed woman. One month after the death of her husband, Grace learns that she might lose her house and huge garden due to her husband unknown large debts. With the help of her gardener, Matt (Ferguson), she uses her secluded greenhouse to grow and then sell marijuana. But, when Grace get herself caught between the police, drug dealers and real estate agents, she must use her instincts to try and some how solve her many problems.

Saving Grace is one of those quirky British comedies that reminded me of similar British comedies like The Full Monty and Waking Ned Devine.

Director Nigel Cole does a simple job of making almost every comedic scene work in the film. He captures the feeling of comedy from the script and actors, then blends the two together with a beautiful oceanic and colorful atmosphere.

Craig Ferguson, who also acted in the film, wrote the script for Saving Grace. The story is in a certain way believable and genuine. Grace is doing a crime by growing the marijuana, but she has an intention and good reason. I guess what I am trying to say is that she is a character that you route for even though she is breaking the law. Ferguson just draws you in the story by giving balanced depth to the likeable characters. It also seemed to me that the jokes and laughs started mildly but ended strongly, especially in the film's final sequence. The story doesn't just die at the end of the film, like The Full Monty, the writer cleverly reveals what ends up happening to all the major characters.

I have always heard that Brenda Blethyn was a gem of an actress. Saving Grace was the first film that I have seen her in and she is a wonderful actress. She really capitalized on the character of Grace with a fine comedic and dramatic performance. Craig Ferguson reminded me of a younger Robert Caryle with his admirable performance as Grace's marijuana growing gardener, Matt. Also, Martin Clunes, who was part of the superb cast of Shakespeare in Love, delivers a fabulous performance as the pot-smoking town doctor.

If you are looking for a fun comedy, I recommend seeing Saving Grace. It plays out simply and delivers many inside jokes and laughs.

Report Card Grade: B

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