Paradise Grove

As it’s independent, British and set in London, you really want to like this comedy drama, but doing so doesn’t prove easy. The set-up’s at least intriguing: Keith (newcomer Leyland O’Brien) is half-Jewish, half-black and utterly devoid of any ambition. He’s quite content looking after the residents of Paradise Grove, the Jewish retirement home run by his hectoring, emotionally aloof mother (Rula Lenska), and trying to embrace his roots by bonding with his ailing, obstreporous grandfather (Ron Moody). There’s also the added distraction of new staff member Kim, who turned up on the doorstep one morning with a gun in her pocket and a smile suggesting she’s pleased to see him… Unfortunately the obvious budget constraints often prove too much to bear (some of the sound-editing is atrocious) and the film struggles with too many themes – identity, mortality, euthanasia, a thriller, a coming-of-age story – too many odd lurches in plot and tone, and too many misfires: such as when Moody’s told he hasn’t long left and everyone starts acting as if he’s already dead – not whimsical, just bizarre.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 20 2005
Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Charles Harris
Screenwriter: Charles Harris
Cast: Ron Moody
Rula Lenska
Lee Blakemore
Leyland O'Brien
John Cunningham
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