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Grow Your Own (DQ)


Stars: Benedict Wong, Eddie Marsan, Philip Jackson, Omid Djalili, Pierce Quigley, John Henshaw, Olivia Coleman

Director: Richard Laxton

A fairly gentle comedy-drama that's as much an indictment of stupidity, prejudice and high-handedness in authority as anything else. Refugee arrivals at a sizeable Merseyside allotment complex are a withdrawn Chinese (Wong) and his two children, and Miriam (Diveen Henry), a Zimbabwean woman (with a son), who believes her husband is dead.

Allotment boss Big John (Jackson) runs the place to strict rules of his own making, and keeps his submissive son Little John (Marsan), who fancies Miriam, well under the thumb. Another refugee, Ali (Djalili), a doctor back in his native Iran, has now fitted in with the other tenants after a year.

Into this modestly cosy set-up strides Carla (Sarah Hadland), a nasty piece of work who represents a mobile phone company that has permission to erect a mast on the site - that will replace at least one 'patch'.

There are some amusing lines here and there in the petty intrigues that follow. But the film is alternately sweet and sour, even if it's the kind of stuff where you know that most things will work out 'all right' in the end. Mildly entertaining, with serviceable performances all around, and absolutely ace photography of contrasting skies and seasons by David Luther.

David Quinlan

UK 2006. UK Distributor: Pathe. Colour.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 09 Jun 2007