Sunday, 30 April 2017
#36 THEIR FINEST
Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill NIghy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling and Richard E. Grant. Written by Gaby Chiappe. Direted by Lone Scherfig. Running time 117 minutes long. Budge £30 million.
It's 1940s London and the war is taking its toil on the plucky inhabitants. nightly bombed, the Londoners carry on with their lives with their typical grit and stiff upper lips, sweeping up the debris of the shattered buildings and just moving on. Into this world comes Welsh valley girl Catrin Cole, a writer of comic strips who is snapped up by the propaganda film unit to do the 'slop' (women's dialogue). She's married to an artist who would much rather she didn't work for their living, thus causing tension at home, while her boss, Sam Calflin's Tom Buckley who is initially rather contemptuous of her slowly warms to her and has to come to terms with his own romantic feelings for her. What follows is a good looking film that tackles the sexism of the day and shows a young woman fighting against the establishment to get a film made about two young women who stole their bullying father's boat to set sail for Dunkirk to rescue retreating British soilders. The film is most successful as we watch the film within a film take shape as the crew set up on location and bond as a unit, even while they struggle with the overblown ego of Bill Nighy's Ambrose Hillard, a past his prime matinee actor with ideas of grandeur. In fact all of the behind the scenes bits and the making of are extremely satisfying to watch. It's just the romantic guff that left me cold.
Quite fun but scuppered by a late act 3 plot device that arrives with all the subtly of an air strike and totally derails the film. However, despite being mortally injured, the film valiantly tries to get back on track but it's too late and it lurches to an unsatisfying end that feels too trite and too twee.
This is quite a fine movie, with a good cast and a nice heart. 7/10