Their Finest is set in the midst of WW2. In a bid to keep spirits up the Ministry of Information decides to take a new approach with their movies.
Writer Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is bought in to give a women’s perspective of the war and life in the 1940s. The Welsh scriptwriter impresses the ministry straight away and lands her a role making a feature-length propaganda movie about the country’s efforts in Dunkirk.
A battle against sexism, bureaucracy and hammy dialogue ensues. Catrin exudes strength and warmth simultaneously and soon catches the attention of fellow writer Tom (Sam Caflin). But Catrin is married and helping to support struggling artist Ellis (Jack Huston). She also has other more pressing matters to attend to, like making sure that the ministry’s latest movie is a success.
Catrin comes into her own during the filming process and manages to overcome adversity and prove her worth. The writer is determined to make the movie work, to tell the story the nation needs to hear. When relationship dramas with Ellis take her off set her peers come to better understand and appreciate her worth.
Bill Nighy provides the much-needed light relief in his role as seasoned actor Ambrose Hilliard. The movie is beautifully crafted and keeps things light without ever downplaying the severity of Blitz Britain.
Warning: Do not go and see this movie if you’re not prepared to cry. I bawled my eyes out to this movie. The action, loss and love is just so raw.
Their Finest is a heart-wrenching love letter to the value of women and the power of cinema.
By Ruth Walker