Posted by: greercn | April 27, 2017

Their Finest

Gemma Arterton finally gets a movie role that allows her to glow in and to own every scene. She shows such fire and dignity that you never take your eyes off her.

Sam Claflin is very moving and different from how we have seen him before. Bill Nighy is funny, driven and utterly convincing.

The story is set in World War 2. Arterton plays Catrin Cole who is brought into writing film dialogue aimed at women. The goal is to get American women to convince their men to join in the war.

Based on a book titled “Their Finest Hour And A Half”, this story could have been slimmed down to the standard 90 minutes of 1940s films.

Much of it is directed crisply, but Lone Scherfig permits a few scenes to linger a few minutes past their ideal length. Those scenes about Cole’s marriage added little to the tale.

Jeremy Irons and Rachael Stirling have great moments. Henry Goodman and Eddie Marsan lift the comedy level and make the shocking twists all the more startling.

It’s a terrific ensemble. There are a few continuity glitches in the 1940s sets – some windows and clothes are just too modern – but the old device of setting a film within a film allows the viewer to appreciate the contribution of the women of World War 2.

Deft points are made about propaganda and its impact.

Stratford East Picturehouse was very full and the viewers enjoyed it, although I noticed they got restless at the same times I started stretching and peeking at my watch.

The friend I went with enjoyed it unconditionally and does not share my doubts.

Arterton is now a big star and I will go see anything she is in. The success of “Their Finest” proves that we have a limitless appetite for movies about World War 2.

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