Greenfingers

Greenfingers

Written and directed by Joel Hershman

Starring Clive Owen, David Kelly, Helen Mirren

HMS Prison Edgefield can make even the liberal cringe. More than a penal institution, more than a method to punish or reform the serious criminal, it strikes fear into hearts by being• nice. No tall fence surrounds the quaint Cotswold cottages set on a beautifully manicured lawn, a solitary guard watches well behaved murderers and rapists playing soccer on the honor system, and an attractive young volunteer serves tea. It’s actually much nicer than most college campuses. Populating this Open Prison are the usual types — Fergus Wilkes (David Kelly) killed wives as a hobby, Jimmy (Paterson Owen) is innocent, Colin Briggs (Clive Owen) killed his brother in a drunken rage, all the usual stuff. Well-behaved prisoners all, not a one psychotic, much nicer looking than the real cons you see on Court TV, and learning skills in work release no one will ever pay them to use. But good old Wilkes has a taste for growing the odd flower, and somehow pounds that slight skill into Colin’s brain. Colin starts small with few violets, moves on to initiates a gardening program at Edgefield, and stumbles into a meeting with Georgina Woodhouse (Helen Mirren), maven of the Brit gardening elite. What started as a prison occupation turns into a serious showing at the Hampton Court Summer Garden Show, and instills a new sense of worth in the hearts of these hardened cons.

Amazingly, this penal fairy tale is partly true — a group of inmates did become involved in gardening and eventually won England’s top prize in show gardening. It’s a bit brushed up, with Colin falling for Woodhouse’s beautiful daughter Primrose (Natasha Little), and Georgina herself getting a bit sweet on one of the other cons, but it’s one of the nicest prison flicks your likely to see. The story is touching if a bit hard to swallow, but the cinematography shows that even the worst rapist has a good side when the lighting is right, and those English know a thing or two about compost. Yeah, Colin has a little trouble adjusting to the outside after 15 years, and committing a minor crime to get back in to compete at Hampton might be a stretch, but you learn the symbolic meaning of rose colors, and that might just help you avoid a stretch in the doghouse with some one you love.

http://www.greenfingersmovie.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives