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The year is 1940, London. With the nation bowed down by war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing that their films could use “a woman’s touch” the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arteton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Her natural flair gets her noticed by cynical, witty lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin) Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Dunkirk rescue starring the gloriously vain former matinee idol Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colourful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of a nation.
The charming, rousing WWII romance Their Finest is a film that openly stumps for two causes: the value of women in the workplace, and the power of cinema to tell stories that people need to hear.
Director Lone Scherfig’s sentimental approach favours easy laughs and warm romance but the film starts to cut a little deeper in its closing stages.
Their Finest is the sort of crowd-pleaser that knows the difference between satisfying its viewers and flattering them, all the while showcasing surprising performances from Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin, and an entirely unsurprising one from Bill Nighy — a master scene-stealer pulling off yet another brazen heist.
While the strong ensemble cast is Their Finest’s most valuable asset, the movie also looks quite handsome on what appears to be a modest budget, and includes some delightful glimpses of how screen effects were achieved way back in those handcrafted days.
The Hollywood Reporter
Critics 76% Audience 69%
Critics positive review 89% Audience liked it 77%
Stockbridge Audience: 82%
Total number of votes 120
Very Poor 0