Presented at last year’s London Film Festival and being released on the 21st of April across the UK, Their Finest is a delightful British comedy drama that covers one of the darkest moment in British history during world war II from a different perspective than the ones already used in Cinema.
Directed by Lone Scherfig, the film is set during the London bombings in WWII. In a city broken by constant destruction and casualties, an English film crew is trying to create a propaganda movie to motivate the American allies to give their support to Europe against the Reich.
Since all men are employed in the war, among the screenwriters Catrin Cole has her chance to finally give women their voices in movies no matter how difficult the rest of the crew and actors are making it for her, especially her co-writer Tom Buckley. In their mission to tell an unknown story of courage and loyalty, Catrin and her fellow screenwriters will find solace in their work and each other during one of the darkest moment in the world history.
As a celebration of Britain’s strength and stoicism during tough times, their finest embodies all that it is beautiful of this culture in a film that embraces both light comedy and drama.
Lone Scherfig shows once again her elegant and honest style in portraying a simpler era in which human connections were the only thing keeping people sane. The camera follows the characters closely to highlight all their reactions and emotions. The audience gets a front seat to the action and sees how everything affects the life of each character.
The heaviness of war’s destruction and the loss endured by the UK is balanced out by the comic relief that is purely British. The old fashioned, but still contemporary “Keep Calm & Carry On” is ever present and celebrated by the movie crew determined to create a movie that showcases heroism as well as lifting the spirit with hope for better times.
The cast ensemble couldn’t be more perfect and made of the finest British actors. Gemma Arterton is disarming. Her Catrin is strong and stubborn, she knows what she wants and is not afraid to speak up for herself in a room full of men. Arterton once again showcased her talent in understanding her character and getting lost in her. She is capable of showing vulnerability and strength in the flick of an eye, making it easy for the audience to create an emotional connection with Catrine.
Her chemistry with Sam Claflin is delicate and real. Their relationship grows through the movie and it is astonishingly beautiful to see how natural it seems for them to act together. Claflin’s character is less carefree and hopeful, but in a way it balances out the Arterton counterpart’s profound innocence. Tom Buckley is a headstrong man, who can’t help is country in a more significant way and his mission to contribute to the war is to create the perfect movie that won’t ridicule, diminish or worse celebrate what going to war really means. Among this incredible talent the movie is also held together by the rest of the cast. Bill Nighy, Richard E. Grant, Eddie Marsan and Helen McCrory, to name just a few, supported the main actors brilliantly giving more shape and character to the story.
With a delicate cinematography, that employs the typical sepia tone to infuse the 40’s atmosphere, Their Finest is a classic British comedy drama that in portraying one of the darkest and hopeless moments in history wants to remind the strength and perseverance of the British people and it does so with elegance and irony. Definitely a must see.
Their Finest can now be seen in cinemas across the UK.