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Their Finest

Rated 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language, Sexual Content) ~ Runs 117 minutes

Dir.: Lone Scherfig, UK

Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston

“The resoundingly British Their Finest, about a group of film-makers working for the Ministry of Information in London in 1940, is surely among the most sheerly enjoyable at the Festival... The way it catches the Blitz-era mood of terror and uncertainty mixed with a determination to band together and carry on feels almost miraculous. Adapting the novel Their Finest Hour and a Half, Scherfig and screenwriter Gaby Chiappe have created a hilarious but beadily accurate recreation of the bashing-the-Hun films of the era, with their rickety props and morale-raising dialogue. They also make some incisive observations about the role of women in wartime, as they stepped up to the plate while the men were in uniform. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton), a girl from Ebbw Vale who has been working as a copywriter, seizes the opportunity to prove herself capable of far more than writing the mere "slop" (slang for women's dialogue) the male production team originally hired her for... In addition to excellent work from Sam Claflin as lead screenwriter Tom Buckley, Helen McCrory as a provocatively strict theatrical agent, and a brilliant little cameo by Jeremy Irons as the Secretary of War, Their Finest may also prove to be Bill Nighy's finest... Nighy slips on the role of preening old ham Ambrose Hilliard (famous, he keeps reminding us, for his portrayal of Inspector Carnforth) like a perfectly cut but rather threadbare suit. His vanity is matched only by his crippling insecurity as old age and unemployability loom, but his role in the team's uplifting movie about twin sisters rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk helps him find a new purpose. Huge fun.” - Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk

When Their Finest plays...
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June 17