“Dunkirk” is on everyone’s lips this month with Christopher Nolan’s massive epic about the WWII evacuation coming to screens so now seemed a perfect time to catch up with Their Finest. A much quieter film, Their Finest is a film about making films about British pluck and courage to inspire the populace at the height of the Blitz in 1940. And what better to inspire than the tale of how that populace saved more than 300,000 soldiers by rescuing them in 800 fishing, pleasure and life boats from the beach and harbor at Dunkirk?
Enter The Nancy Starling, the film filmed within Their Finest. It’s corny propaganda written by veteran Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and newbie Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) to tug at Brit heartstrings and inspire the US audience to support America joining the war effort.
Director Lone ScherfigIt (An Education) has an eye for recreating the British homefront and funny behind-the-scenes filmmaking moments. Their Finest does a masterful job in capturing war-time Britain from wardrobe to hair to scenery. It’s a witty, pleasant and forgettable film, a distraction at a tough time to keep your mind off what’s going on outside the theater. Not a bad selling point these days either.
Really, really short review: With charm, wit and good looks, Their Finest is nice enough. Just wish it was more Cary Grant memorable than Peter Lawford forgettable.