Sunday, April 16, 2017

Their Finest

Director: Lone Scherfig

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Paul Ritter, Rachel Stirling, Helen McCrory, Richard E. Grant, Henry Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Hubert Burton, Jeremy Irons, Claudia Jessie, Stephanie

I did so want to enjoy this movie but instead found it drab and dreary at times. Based on Lissa Evans' novel Their Finest Hour and a Half, the story follows the characters involved in making an English propaganda film during World War II. Midst the mayhem of the London Blitz in 1940, the Ministry of Information's film division decide to make a morale boasting picture. Mousey, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) lives with a wounded veteran Ellis (Jack Huston), who is a struggling artist. To make ends meet she get a job and almost by accident the copywriter finds herself matched with head screenwriter Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) to craft the story and script a movie based on the Miracle of Dunkirk. The film within the film is loosely based on (actual) events of young twin sisters who travelled on their father's boat to Dunkirk to try to rescue a family friend. Unfortunately, things did not go quite to plan, but when the twins make shore with some evacuees on board, the newspapers ignored the truth and make the girls out to be heroes. Catrin embellishes the storyline further and production of the propaganda movie is set in motion. It is a busy plot and the movie is really a love story. Bill Nighy is delightfully droll as faded thespian Ambrose Hilliard, coaxed into double duty as supporting ham and acting coach to the proverbial Yank, Carl Lundbeck (Jake Lacy). The supporting cast includes Jeremy Irons, Helen McCrory, Richard E. Grant, Eddie Marsan and Rachael Stirling which should have made this a brilliant film.

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