Posts Tagged ‘Rachael Stirling’

The Nancy Starling

Their Finest

Director: Lone Scherfig

Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Richard E. Grant, Jeremy Irons, Jake Lacy, Eddie Marsan, Helen McCrory, Rachael Stirling

Danish director Lone Scherfig delivers another nuanced and unexpectedly unsettling film, Their Finest featuring a superb performance by Gemma Arterton (The Prince of Persia, Quantum of Solace) in one of her best roles yet. Director of The Riot Club, One Day and An Education, Scherfig is brilliant at capturing the peculiarities of the British social system, exemplified in The Riot Club and perfected in her latest film, Their Finest.

Set in 1940 during the Blitz, while London was being mercilessly bombed by the Germans at the beginning of World War II, Their Finest focuses on the art of propaganda about Arterton who is asked to become a scriptwriter on a film aimed to boosted the morale of the British public particularly from a woman’s perspective when most of the men were being conscripted to fight the war.

Arterton plays the feisty Welsh woman Caitrin Cole whose relationship with a struggling artist Ellis Cole played by Jack Huston (Ben-Hur, The Riot Club) is precarious at best. Caitrin’s co-writer is the cynical Tom Buckley wonderfully played by Sam Claflin (Me Before You) who keeps on advising her to trim the fat on any story which appears too verbose.

The story in question is how twin sisters managed to save some Allied soldiers off the French coast during the Dunkirk evacuation aboard their father’s fishing vessel The Nancy Starling.

The embellishment of the story and its natural progression to a morale boosting piece of cinema, aptly named The Nancy Starling is the task of Caitlyn and Tom who has to contend not only with the vested interests of the Ministry of Information represented by Roger Swain wonderfully played by Richard E. Grant but also the War Ministry represented by the Secretary of War played by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons (The Reversal of Fortune).

What elevates the grim narrative of Their Finest, a city under siege with Londoners being randomly killed off during incessant bombings is the appearance of fading film star Ambrose Hilliard acidly played with dark humour by character actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pride).

There are some precious moments between Nighy and his new agent Sophie Smith played by Helen McCrory who takes over Hilliard’s career after her brother Sammy Smith, a brief cameo by Eddie Marsan, is unexpectedly killed in the bombings.

Based upon the novel by Lissa Evans entitled “Their Finest Hour and a Half”, Their Finest is a remarkably interesting war film about the art of propaganda, the process of scripting a film and a precarious love triangle, particularly noticeable when thwarted affections develop between Tom Buckley and Caitrin Cole.

The only criticism is that Their Finest could have been edited more efficiently as the dramatic pace of the film lags at times and this efficiency in getting the story across would have prevented the narrative from becoming slightly repetitive and drawn out.

Yet despite its imperfections, Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin are brilliant as the young creative screenwriters trying to negotiate a budding romance amidst their own artistic differences.

Audiences should look out for a particularly tart performance by Diana Rigg’s daughter Rachael Stirling as the propaganda film’s sharp tongued production secretary Phyl Moore.

Their Finest as a wartime dramatic comedy gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10. This witty and poignant British film will be enjoyed by those that share the English sentiment of stoically soldiering on in the face of burdening hardships without resorting to emotional melodrama. Which is what the British did during the Blitz.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
February 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728  
  • Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves Top ACM Awards Nominations
    Chris Stapleton and Dan +Shay emerged as the top nominees as the contenders for the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards were announced Wednesday, with six nods each. Kacey Musgraves followed closely behind with five, and Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha all claimed four nominations apiece. The ACMs telecast takes […]
    chrislwillman
  • CBS Turns to Artificial Intelligence to Glean Viewers’ Emotional Responses to TV Shows
    CBS’s research team is getting a faster read on how viewers respond emotionally to its TV shows — by using the dispassionate logic of machines. The broadcaster is using the data-analytics platform developed by New York startup Canvs, which uses proprietary artificial-intelligence processing to parse natural-language comments. CBS started using the Canvs Surveys tool to […]
    Todd Spangler
  • The Video Game is You: An Approach to Video Game Criticism
    When two systems cross paths, a choice must be made. This is universally true. The conduit of this choice is, of course, you. When you wake up in the morning and the digestive system of your body crosses its path with the food ecology of your kitchen, you choose. You choose what to eat, you […]
    Brian Crecente
  • Verizon Media’s New Yahoo Play App Is a Mobile Pop Culture Quiz Show With Rewards (EXCLUSIVE)
    Verizon Media launched a new mobile quiz show app dubbed Yahoo Play Tuesday that tests players on their pop culture knowledge, and rewards them for getting it right: In-game points can be traded in for gift cards from brands like Apple, Amazon and Target. “We want to reward content consumption,” said Verizon Media’s head of […]
    Janko Rottgers
  • iHeartMedia and Jake Brennan Announce New True-Crime Music Podcasts, Including ‘Disgraceland’
    iHeartMedia and Jake Brennan, host and producer of the rock and roll true crime podcast “Disgraceland,” today announced at the Winter Podcast Upfront a new partnership to bring listeners two additional seasons of “Disgraceland” to the iHeartPodcast Network. Season 3 will feature 10 episodes and will debut March 14 with part one of a two-part episode on Kurt […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90