Saving Grace

Director: Nigel Cole
Screenwriters: Mark Crowdy, Craig Ferguson

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Since the advent of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the United States has gladly opened its movie houses to what can now be considered a distinct British genre: the big-hearted, comedic ensemble film. Saving Grace is the newest installment in this series and will certainly be enjoyed by many long after this Festival ends.

Recently widowed Grace Trevethan (Brenda Blethyn) has been left a lovely manor house on the Cornish coast. Unfortunately, she has also been bequeathed a 2,000-pound monthly mortgage and a 300,000-pound debt. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Grace turns to her now-unemployed caretaker, Matthew (Craig Ferguson, known on these shores for his role on The Drew Carey Show). Matthew suggests she use her skill at gardening to make some real money. And so the two remodel her orchid hothouse into a marijuana plantation. Hilarious moments ensue as Grace tries on the role of a Notting Hill pusher. The pressures of her new-found enterprise catch up with her when hoodlums, debt collectors, and the police collide one fine day in her lovely greenhouse. The charming finale soundly revokes the adage of crime not paying.

Saving Grace’s technical quality is excellent; however, in the time-honored British tradition, the actors steal the show. One of the reasons Brenda Blethyn is considered one of the finest actresses of the day is because she subtly encourages her fellow actors to rise to her level. Her characterization of Grace is the film’s center: dignity and humor while under the influence.

— Andrea Alsberg

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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