Their Finest ⭐⭐⭐½

1940s London, the height of WWII, and Gemma Arterton’s Catrin joins the Ministry of Information, Film Division, making propaganda films to inform and inspire the general population in an authentic and optimistic way. The film starts off lightly with comedic japery as we get to know the various characters operating both in front of and behind the camera. The latest assignment is to write a new film based on the evacuation of Dunkirk that the general public can rally behind and a romance develops in the writers’ room in the mostly obvious and predictable manner until something less obvious happens and the film takes a slightly darker turn. The third act tonal change adds a certain amount of poignancy to an otherwise sprawling and frivolous film. Director Lone Scherfig meticulously and effectively captures the tone and spirit of both the era and the films made during then, with Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy leading a great British cast that portrays that stiff upper lippiness and pomposity to great dramatic and comedic effect. This is a very cosy film, tastefully executed, inoffensive and proper to a tee, which some might find very old-fashioned, and others charming and nostalgic for a simpler time. It isn’t just for the moms and the over-50s but they will probably appreciate it more than others. For me, I added an extra ½ star for the perfectly awkward and funnily accurate film within the film that was The Nancy Starling which certainly made me chuckle more than a few times.

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