Green Fingers Review

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At a new experimental prison, where inmates may walk freely and rehabilitate themselves ready for release, convict Colin Briggs (Owen) discovers he's got the titular digits. This is noticed by a horticultural guru, and soon he and three other prisoners are growing prize winners.


Clive Owen crops up in this gentle comedy about a group of prisoners digging for victory at Hampton Court Flower Show. Set in a perma-sunny England where everyone owns a stately home and makes time for afternoon tea, it seems more suited to a Sunday BBC schedule than the big screen. Owen seems uncomfortable in the lead role, too cold and cynical to be seduced by the charms of the potting shed or the shy Primrose (Little). As an ailing inmate, David Kelly exudes dignity, while Helen Mirren goes for maximum camp as a haughty doyen of the horticultural world. The competition finale lacks dynamism, but endearing characters make it cosily charming, if not laugh-out-loud funny.

It's as cosy as slippers, but better suited to tea and biscuits than the big screen.