I hadn’t heard of the movie Greenfingers (written and directed by Joel Hershman) when I picked it up at the library last week. It’s a film about a prison in the Cotswolds (England) with a British cast but written, directed and financed by an American who learned of a unique program in an article in the New York Times.
That aside, this is a film about a new rehabilitation system which some prisoners at a low security prison called Edgefield Prison encounter by accident: a gardening program. Like many surreal ideas this comes under the “life is stranger than fiction” category as it and the article in the Times are based on a real-life story.
Edgefield Prison hosts 5 prisoners Colin Briggs (Clive Owen), Fergus Wilks (David Kelly), Tony (Danny Dyer), Raw (Adam Fogerty) and Jimmy (Paterson Joseph) who are tasked with creating a garden on the prison grounds. This does more than give these men horticultural knowledge; it also gives them meaning to their ‘time’ and a reason to want to reform themselves. The climax of the movie is the participation of the gardeners in the prestigious Hampton Court Garden Show. Although they don’t win a prize (apparently they do in subsequent years) they are invited to an audience with the Queen afterwards. Rehabilitation worthy of Royalty.
Two actors, well known to BBC crime show fans, Helen Mirren and Warren Clarke play Georgina Woodhouse a gardening maven and prison chief Gov. Hodge. Natasha Little plays Georgina’s daughter with a great deal of talent IMHO.
A fun movie that aside from a few racy moments is suitable for the entire family. I recommend with a greenfinger up.
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