Their Finest

Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners, An Education) directs this witty story about a scriptwriter who finds herself hired to bring a female perspective to the British Ministry’s film division in 1940, when 30 million people a week escaped the war by going to the movies.

A talented writer with a thick skin, Catrin Cole (played by a luminous Gemma Arterton) earns herself a place at the table for her ability to write “slop” — or female dialogue. While she’s paid less than her male counterparts, she’s able to pay rent on her apartment, even though her artist husband looks down on her job. But Catrin earns the respect of her peers and comes into her own when she gets assigned to a feature about British civilians at Dunkirk. On location in Devon, she’s the only crew person that Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy, playing a past-his-prime yet nonetheless pompous actor) will talk to. And lead scenarist Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) begins to appreciate her dependability and her social intelligence as much as her writing. Based on the novel Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lisa Evans, the film pops with banter and flows with lovely period detail. With uniformly textured characters and nuanced performances, Their Finest is an inspiring story about a talented woman forging her place in the world.

(UK / 2016 / Directed by Lone Scherfig)
R / 1 hr 57 mins.