Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rehabilitating gardens

I don't know why I had the impression that the film Greenfingers had to do with growing marijuana (perhaps I had it confused with Saving Grace), but I was pleasantly surprised to discover the real story behind the film. The film concerns Colin, played by the always-easy-on-the-eyes Clive Owen, sent to prison for a serious crime, which he is reluctant to reveal to his fellow prisoners. He prefers to keep himself to himself and do his time with as little interaction as possible with anyone else. Because he doesn't cause any problems, he is transferred to a minimum security prison. There, he shares living quarters with Fergus, a kindly frail old man. Colin, true to form, continues to rebuff any friendly overtures from Fergus. At Christmas, Fergus, still trying to be friendly, gives Colin some seeds as a gift. They plant the seeds, but Colin is scornful of the entire endeavor.

In the spring, they are both delighted to discover that the plants, despite all odds, have thrived and bloomed. Their attempts to protect the flowers from their rough-housing fellow inmates leads the prison warden to a novel idea: he puts the sparring inmates on "garden duty." The inmates are originally scornful of the idea, but as they learn about plants, soil, and design, they become true gardening enthusiasts. Their gardening skills eventually catch the eye of gardening queen Georgina Woodhouse, played to perfection by Helen Mirren. With her help, the prisoners are able to obtain work release jobs in gardening. Their skill and Georgina's backing gets them invited to submit a garden to the prestigious Hampton Court Palace Garden Show.

Of course, things do not go smoothly and there are some unexpected complications along the way. The film is by turns funny and touching. In the end, the gardeners are wildly successful and the prisoners have learned not only a valuable skill, but a true passion for their new found interest. The only question I had was how the prisoners were able to construct their life-like "Fergus" watering plants in their show garden!

Final verdict for Greenfingers: Three Gherkins, for being a pleasant, ultimately uplifting film with lovely gardens

3 comments:

Smitten by Britain said...

Ha, I just put this in my queue last week. Glad you thought it was worth three pickles.

Lisanne624 said...

Yes, it was much better than I'd anticipated, or I would have watched it earlier! Hope you like it, too!

Michelloui said...

This sounds great, I have never hard of this. Thanks for the review. I shall now go look for it!

And great blog by the way. I'm going to add you to my list, if you don't mind...

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