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Their Finest: Unconventional romance in a Second World War period piece

There aren’t many movies about the propaganda machine during the Second World War, but Lone Scherfig’s smart, heartwarming take on the efforts of the British film industry makes up for the sparse coverage.

Nicola Dove/STX Entertainment Motion Picture Artwork

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Their Finest
Written by
Gaby Chiappe
Directed by
Lone Scherfig
Starring
Gemma Arterton, Sam Clafin and Bill Nighy
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

There aren't many movies about the propaganda machine during the Second World War, but Lone Scherfig's smart, heartwarming take on the efforts of the British film industry makes up for the sparse coverage.

Starring Gemma Arterton as the sharp and witty screenwriter Catrin Cole, the story ascends along with Cole's self-confidence, particularly as she realizes that she's not just a talented storyteller, but a person with worth. And while romance does weave its way through Catrin's world, it delivers less a "will they or won't they?" dynamic than it does a slew of charming and compelling scenes between Arterton and co-star Sam Claflin – particularly as the film's most important love story emerges as the one Catrin has with herself.

Plus, supporting turns by Bill Nighy, Rachael Stirling, Jack Lacy and Helen McCrory work to make Their Finest a testament to the familial nature that defined the film industry during the Second World War, as well as proof that it's possible to breed joy in the midst of bleakness.

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