Their Finest


In Perth cinemas from Thursday, April 20th

CAST: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Richard E. Grant, Jack Huston and Jeremy Irons.

Does anybody remember the good old days, back when propaganda -as long as it was ours- was a good thing…? When our government lied to us …but only for our own good?

Yeah, me neither.

Re-imagining history in a way more palatable to modern sensibilities seems a tad Orwellian to this reviewer – and is possibly poor form to era buffs wanting to immerse themself in the recent explosion of wartime dramas, that blend scripting and CGI to take audiences back to when battles fought had quite clear-cut good guys and bad guys… Or, were our forebears perhaps just more gullible than we are…?

But agreeing to nonetheless suspend my disbelief for the duration of this rather enchanting film (and the rest of this review), I’d like to add that I enjoyed it.

SYNOPSIS: Catrin Cole (Arterton) came from rural Wales to live with her artist husband, Ellis (Huston) in Blitz-time London. Through a charmingly humorous chain of events, her modest work as a bit-writer of morale-boosting wartime infomercials for the Ministry of Information catapults her into a top-tier scriptwriting trio of a full-length propaganda feature film – in colour! It’s based on an almost-true story, about a pair of twin girls who stole their father’s boat to join the thousands rescuing the British Army, as they huddle on the beaches of Dunkirk, and the Ministry has suddenly decided it will be just the thing to convince the Americans to join the fight against fascism.

Her evolving relationships with co-writer, Tom (Claflin) and prima donna lead actor, Ambrose (Nighy) as the movie goes into and through production are just two of the many relationship dynamics portrayed, the entire story underscored by a strong feminist message that seems far more at home in our time than 1940s England – but then who among us was there, right?

REVIEW: Look, you can see I’m not a fan of historical revisonism. But seeing how laissez-faire modern mainstream media is about what’s going on in our world today, who’s to say anyway? A well crafted story with very fine performances by the entire cast, but especially Arterton, Nighy and Clafin, I’m giving it a double-plus good 3 out of 5 and a recommendation to go-and-see, if you’re a fan of the genre, the era or any of the cast – and I’d be very interested in reading your feedback if you get a chance to see it yourself.