#FilmReview Their Finest #WWII #Drama #Romance

Their Finest Film Review 4*

Their Finest

I took my place in the cinema and eagerly awaited the start of director, Lone Scherfig’s latest release, Their Finest based on the book Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans.

I confess I haven’t read the book. I was drawn to this film because I’m a huge fan of Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy and having these two actors in the same picture is bound to be a treat!

As I waited, a line of grey haired octogenarians filed in and took their places in the first two rows. As I watched them settle into their seats, I realised these ladies would have been young girls when the war raged and therefore seeing a film set in 1940s London during the bombings must have taken them back to their childhood or teens. For me, it was an escape into a time I’d only heard my grandparents talk about, but for the front two rows of ladies, it was a trip down memory lane.

Their Finest isn’t a deep look into war and politics, it’s a light-hearted story about filmmakers producing a propaganda movie about the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk. The aim of the film is to appeal to a female audience. It was a delight to watch it from a writer’s perspective as it touches on screenwriting, plotting, and bringing to life a story needed to unite a nation, and bolster war-torn families who long for a happy ending. Of course, a happy ending isn’t always the right way to round off any story be it a novel, or a film. Does Their Finest have a happy ending? I guess that depends on your perspective. I’ll admit, my eyes leaked ever so slightly but that could have been the dust in the air!! 😉

I wasn’t disappointed by my favourite actors either. Bill Nighy is simply wonderful in his role as Ambrose Hilliard, a narcissistic leading man, with his legendary British wit and satire. He will make you laugh in all the right places with a mere twitch of his eyebrow in true Nighy style. Sam Claflin plays Tom Buckley, the lead scriptwriter who has a sharp wit and a soft smile. Complementing Bill and Sam’s characters was actress, Gemma Arterton who plays Catrin Cole, a female scriptwriter hired to add a woman’s touch to the film, or as Buckley puts it ‘to write the slop.’

Their Finest is a heart-warming, funny, poignant film about making a movie as the bombs drop all around the cast and crew. There are numerous spoof one-liners that add to the charm, and the mix of characters are delightful as they tug on your heart strings. Gemma Arterton was a fabulous casting choice to play Catrin as she is gentle yet spunky, sweet but clever.

If you’re looking for a light, reflective film then Their Finest is the one for you.

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Film Blurb:

1940, London, the Blitz; with the country’s morale at stake, Catrin (Gemma Arterton), an untried screenwriter, and a makeshift cast and crew, work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s flagging spirits; and inspire America to join the war. Partnered alongside fellow screenwriter, Buckley (Sam Claflin) and eccentric actor Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy), the trio set off to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation and capture the imagination of the American population. THEIR FINEST, based on Lissa Evans’ novel, ‘Their Finest Hour and a Half’, is a witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war… and the movies!

26 comments

  1. Interesting… don’t think it would be my sort of thing, but I do like to read film reviews, and this is particularly good, Shelley!

    If you REALLY want to see Bill Nighy at his best, take a look at Still Crazy, if you haven’t. It was before he started playing the same role all the time (you know, that one he does so well, like in this film!). Still Crazy came out in about 1999.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, Shelley. I’ve recently downloaded the book, which I want to read first, then I’m going to watch the film. Looking forward to both! Huge fan of Bill Nighy. Totally agree with Terry – he’s really good in Still Crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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