A fish-out-of-water comedy in the vein of 1997's oft-imitated The Full Monty, Greenfingers takes as its inspiration the true story of a group of British criminals who bettered themselves through the delicate art of gardening. Croupier's Clive Owen plays Colin Briggs, a taciturn inmate doing time for murder. When it's suggested he transfer to a minimum-security prison, Colin is reluctant; at the idyllic Edgefield compound, he's slow to warm to his gregarious, botanically inclined roomie Fergus (Waking Ned Devine's David Kelly). When the warden forces Colin and his prison mates to cultivate the prison's grounds, however, the men decide it's a fate better than mopping the lavatory, and begin to take pride in their work. Their stellar efforts attract the attention of haughty celebrity gardener Georgina Woodhouse (Helen Mirren), who arranges furlough work for the men. Colin becomes particularly fervent with his bulbs and seeds, not to mention his affection for Georgina's daughter Primrose (Natasha Little). When he's offered the chance to go straight, Colin is torn between the freedom of the outside world and the comforts of his lockup flowerbed. Greenfingers made its North American premiere at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival before making the U.S. festival rounds.
by Michael Hastings synopsis