Saving Grace (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A sweet little old lady in Cornwall (Brenda Blethyn) doesn't know how to make ends meet after her husband's suicide. Her only talent is gardening, and how much money is there in a few flowers? Well, not much, but the same volume of marijuana proves to be very profitable indeed.

A real classic British comedy, where kind and genteel people excuse a little sin in order to reach an important goal. It is filled with the magnification of small absurdities, mistaken identities of sorts (the little old convenience store ladies don't quite understand what kind of "tea" we're dealing with), people performing against type, and plenty of dotty supporting characters.

The best scene, in my opinion, was Grace's actual drug dealing. She is good at growing the stuff, but has no idea how to market it, so goes to London to enlist the services of a tough guy.


A full-frontally naked policeman, stoned out of his mind.
I think Junior wrote that Tcheky Karyo is now the all-purpose French dude in all movies. Yes, he had to fill in that role when Depardieu had his health problems, but he's also the all-purpose foreign tough guy, whether a Frenchman is needed or not. His character, a violent top drug boss, is ultimately charmed by the unthreatenable little old granny, and they end up with a sweet deal, and eventually a marriage!

The movie rolls along pretty well as a suspension-of-disbelief film until the finale, which required a bit more suspension than I was prepared to deliver. But it is a pretty enjoyable film, even if the ending required Graham Chapman to come back from the dead in his military uniform to say "too silly, too silly, everyone move along".

DVD info from Amazon.

Widescreen letterbox, 2.35:1, and a standard 4:3 widescreen.

the lead actors and the director do a full-length commentary

And Cornwall looks beautiful on screen, where you can't feel the wind.

As you'll see below, the more intellectual and scholarly critics weren't crazy about this one-note symphony, but most middlebrow reviewers and the target viewers were charmed by the loony characters and situations, and enchanted by the leading actress.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, Apollo 76. My guys didn't much like it.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. This movie was well received by mainstream critics. 66% positive reviews overall, and 75% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score this near classic levels at 7.4, Apollo users a similar 78/100.
  • With their dollars ... it surprised the hell out of me. I thought it was a cute little flick, but who would have guessed that it was good for $12 million in the US on 900 screens. good marketing, I guess. It did pretty well in a more limited release, so they expanded it from 250 theaters to 850, and did so more than a month after it opened.

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