Their Finest

"Excellent"

Their Finest Review


Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches our attention with its vivid characters and original setting. Based on real people and situations, it also rings unusually truthful in its combination of comedy and drama. It's another remarkably observant movie from Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education).

The setting is 1940s London, where the Ministry of Information has assembled a team to make movies to help with the war effort. Catrin (Gemma Arterton) is a secretary who finds herself assigned as a screenwriter, working alongside Buckley and Parfitt (Sam Claflin and Paul Ritter) to write movies for veteran actor Ambrose (Bill Nighy). When Catrin discovers a story about twin sisters who participated in the Dunkirk boatlift, she proposes it as a film idea, and soon the entire crew goes into production, adding an American soldier (Jake Lacy) to the cast to accommodate the wishes of US military allies. This annoys Ambrose, who had been hoping to play the hero himself.

Scherfig directs the film with a light touch that brings the period to vivid life and never bogs down in the intensity of wartorn Britain, recognising the reality while undermining it with brittle humour and messy romance. Catrin has an artist husband (Jack Huston) who isn't happy about her new job, and there are hints of a romantic-comedy subplot between Catrin and Buckley.

More: Five Female Directed Movies From The Past Year Well Worth Watching

Gaby Chiappe's script carefully layers all of these elements together into a seamlessly entertaining whole. Even Ambrose's side-story involving negotiations with his sibling agents (the terrific Eddie Marsan and Helen McCrory) is full of surprises. Each of the actors brings his or her character to life beautifully. This is Arterton's most natural and involving performance yet, and her prickly chemistry with Claflin is thoroughly enjoyable. While Nighy does his usual schtick so masterfully that he steals all of his scenes without breaking a sweat.

It's the attention to detail that makes this so much fun to watch, including a willingness to let the plot twist in some unexpected directions along the way. As a result, every scene is packed with meaningful subtext, such as pointed commentary on the role of women in the war effort. This theme of course has striking echoes in present-day society as well, adding a proper thematic kick to a story that's already gripping and amusing. In other words, we're having so much fun watching this movie that we don't realise how much we're learning along the way.

Watch the trailer for Their Finest:



Their Finest

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th April 2017

Distributed by: STX Entertainment

Production compaines: BBC Films, Wildgaze Films, HanWay Films, Film i Väst, Number 9 Films, Filmgate Films, Ripken Productions, Pinewood Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Catrin Cole, as Tom Buckley, as Ambrose Hilliard, as Ellis Cole, as Sophie Smith, as Sammy Smith, as Carl Lundbeck, as Phyl Moore, as Roger Swain, Paul Ritter as Raymond Parfitt, as Gabriel Baker, as Secretary of War, Hubert Burton as Wyndham Best, Claudia Jessie as Doris Cleavley, Stephanie Hyam as Angela Ralli-Thomas, as Rose Starling, Francesca Knight as Lily Starling, Cathy Murphy as Vee, Emma Cunniffe as Ettie, as Cecy, Patrick Gibson as Rex

Contactmusic


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