Film review: Their Finest (4 out of 5)

Their Finest
Their Finest

It’s always good to see a movie that has a real feel for the period, not only with props etc but the attitudes and general way of life.

This delightful film gives us, as well as a great story, the fears and hopes of people in 1940 London as Hitler’s bombers rained terror on the city.

But there’s also plenty of humour and a touching love story to round it all off.

The story centres on Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) who gets a job as a scriptwriter for the government’s wartime information films so she and her struggling artist husband Ellis (Jack Huston) can afford to stay in London.

The short wartime movies haven’t been a great success and the hope is to create a feature film to raise morale for the 30 million regular cinema goers back then.

Catrin is teamed up with writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and they work on a story about Dunkirk, picking out the heroic aspects of the evacuation.

The main humour comes from Bill Nighy who is in excellent form as conceited actor Ambrose Hilliard.

Claflin and Arterton hold the story together with some believable and touching scenes.

But the rest of the supporting cast is also really good, with the likes of Rachael Stirling, Richard E. Grant, Eddie Marsan and Helen McCrory all in top form.

While the plots of the old wartime propaganda film were obvious, Their Finest actually makes a point of surprising us as we are taken on an unexpected path or two.

One such dramatic scene is a bit too sudden for my liking but full marks for being different.

Overall, though, this is a well-crafted story that also makes a genuine attempt to show us what living during in Britain during World War II was all about.

Film details: Their Finest (12A) 117mins

Director: Lone Scherfig

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol