Their Finest Film Review 4*
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.
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!