Title: Their Finest
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy
Runtime: 117 Minutes
What It Is: It’s 1940 in London and as the German bombs fall around them the whole of the country is demoralized looking for some inspiration. This is where our lead, Catrin, played by Gemma Arterton steps in as she is drafted in as a rookie screenwriter, where she is partnered with the much more experienced Sam Buckley (Claflin) to see if she can inject some chin-up optimism back into the soul of the nation via the medium of cinema.
What We Think: This film is about the bureaucracy and frustrations of making a film which even now is still largely relevant but in this piece, it is stuffed full of the keep calm and carry on attitude which magnificently catches the era perfectly. Catrin is initially drafted in to write the ‘slop’ which is a derogatory term used by Buckley to describe female dialogue, however, in time she more than proves her worth and eventually she is accepted as part of the writing team on the movie although they ‘can not pay her ‘as much as the boys’. Eventually, through working together a close bond develops between our two leads but it avoided any over sentimentality which I thought was a really nice touch as it could have done quite easily, instead it relied on a frustrated frictional relationship. The cast of the film are so focused on making a worthwhile picture, and to really make a difference during the war effort by raising the morale of people in dire need of hope. None more so is this present than that when all the crew sits around the piano as Bill Nighy (who was excellent) sang ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ in a genuinely touching moment. As the film crew are literally dying as the Blitz intensifies, there is a great line in the film which says ‘it seems to me that life is so precarious and it would be a shame to waste it’ this one line encapsulates the whole film for me.
Our Grade: A, I have no hesitation in recommending this film, I thought it was cast perfectly, in no way does it try to reinvent the wheel but under the supervision of Lone Scherfig (An Education) it is visually beautiful to look at and has plenty of substance to back up its glistening charm. It’s a superb period drama that wears its heart on its sleeve. Gemma Arterton continues a great 2017 following this up after her great turn in The Girl With All the Gifts