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Historical comedy-drama Their Finest is an affectionate ode to morale-boosting British Ministry of Information films of the second world war. Gemma Arterton stars as a young copywriter who is brought in to work on a film about the Dunkirk evacuation, while Bill Nighy is a fading matinee idol hoping for one last star turn. The pair discuss the role played by women in the war effort, the timely nature of their film and the challenges of doing a Welsh accent.
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- Gwilym Mumford and Jonross Swaby
In the handsomely made World War II period film Their Finest, director Lone Scherfig spins a tale of a young Welsh woman who takes a job as a scriptwriter for the British government’s war propaganda film division. Set up like a 1940s period romance, the director both paints a picture of the treatment of working women in the WWII war effort and, more uniquely, a peek inside script writing and propaganda film making in the 1940s.
The movie poster makes Their Finest look like a period romantic comedy but it is actually more complex than that. Director Lone Scherfig, a Danish-born woman director/writer whose past films include An Education, lulls us into expecting one film but then gives us a different, more complicated one.
Like in the U. »
- Cate Marquis
Author: Stefan Pape
It would seem obtuse to look back even remotely fondly to Britain during the Second World War, and yet there remains something of a nostalgia for the time period, which Bill Nighy discusses with us as we interview him for his latest production Their Finest.
Commenting on the community spirit of the public at the time, he said, “It’s a great example of how people can combine courage and compassion during dangerous times, and they can focus on that which unifies them rather than that which divides them. We’re always being manipulated to focus on the divisions for political purposes, but its good to see that in a real time of danger people can conduct themselves in such a way.”
Nighy plays Ambrose Hilliard, an eccentric thespian cast in a propaganda picture designed for those striving to get by on home soil while the soldiers are in combat abroad. »
- Stefan Pape
Author: Linda Marric
With its huge catalogue of self-reflexives productions and behind-the-scene musicals, Hollywood could always be relied upon to add to its own legend and mystique. On the other hand, the British film industry has forever shied away from making a song and dance about its own history. Bar a few examples, there’s been little interest in dramas chartering the British film industry’s formative years, and even less in shining a light on the industry’s prolific body of work during WWII. But fear not, because lo and behold, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest is here to save the day. This beautifully acted and brilliantly written film set in London during the Blitz is a charming and compelling slice of contemporary cinema.
- Linda Marric
Chicago – In a combined BBC Films, Welsh Government and Pinewood (London) Pictures production, the British-based “Their Finest” pairs England’s history with authentic and passionate romance, to create a sly and funny riff on propaganda films and the British movie industry during the early days of World War II.
With a top drawer cast – headed by the great scene stealer Bill Nighy – and perfect construction by Danish director Lone Scherfig (“An Education,” “One Day”), “Their Finest” is righteous and tear-jerking entertainment, especially in the actualization of a wonderfully recreated example of the early 1940s British film industry. This is one of those rare films where women are all at the top of the credit list… besides Scherfig, the screenplay was adapted by Gaby Chiappe (from a novel written by Lissa Evans) and the lead role is portrayed by Gemma Arterton, who has never been better. Additionally, the black shadow »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Barcelona– A new event in major city, the Barcelona-Sant Jordi Intl. Film Festival (Bcn Film Fest) will launch April 21 at the Verdi cinema theaters, a legendary Mecca for local film-goers situated in Barcelona’s bustling inner-city neighborhood of Gràcia.
“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,” directed by Joseph Cedar whose credits include “Footnote,” which won a best screenplay plaudit at Cannes 2011, will open the fest. Star Richard Gere and Cedar will present the movie at the event.
Among competition contenders, the Bcn Film Fest will world premiere “Churchill,” directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (“The Railway Man”). Sold by Embankment Films, and starring Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson and James Purefoy, “Churchill” depicts the historic U.K. leader on May 23, 1944, as tensions rose in the prelude to the allies’ D-Day invasion of Normandy.
A passion project of Verdi founder Enric Pérez, Bcn Film Fest lineup will focus on history, »
- Emilio Mayorga
Author: David Sztypuljak
The observant among you will notice that this is the second Their Finest Premiere that we’ve attended as the movie had a red carpet at the London Film Festival back in October. But we love both the cast and movie so much that it was a no-brainer to go back to chat to them once more.
Related: London Film Festival Premiere Interviews
Their Finest is set for release April 21st and tells the story of a British film crew who attempt to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg. THe film has a wonderful cast which includes Gemma Arterton, Helen McCrory, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin, Rachael Stirling, Richard E. Grant, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston and comes from director Lone Scherfig.
We were also lucky enough to attend the Their Finest press conference »
- David Sztypuljak
He has cornered the market in irascible but lovable Englishmen, so why is the actor still so anxious about his work, his looks – and death?
Around halfway through my interview with Bill Nighy, it becomes apparent that he hasn’t actually seen the film he is giving the interview to promote. Actually, it doesn’t become apparent at all, he just tells me. He hasn’t seen Their Finest, a second world war-based comedy drama in which he stars alongside Gemma Arterton, because he never watches anything he is in: “God, no.” He thinks he might have seen all of Love Actually, the film that made him a bankable movie star at the age of 54, “at one time or another”, but that seems to have more to do with its ubiquity on Christmas television than any great desire to watch it: last year, ITV3 appeared to show nothing else from »
- Alexis Petridis
Their Finest is a genuine, heartfelt love letter to filmmaking in a time of national adversity...
Movies about making movies may just be my favourite kind. It's a meta Inception-esque sub-genre that has provided us with some of cinema's greatest and most memorable moments. Think Singin' In the Rain, Mulholland Drive, 8 1/2, Hail, Caesar!, Hugo and even Tropic Thunder. There's so much potential in the making of the movies - from the creative process through to shooting, post-production and release, there's high stakes, high tension and high drama. With so much on the line for so many people, clashes and chaos are bound to ensue. Their Finest follows this format except there's even more on the line than usual - set during WWII, its characters also have the morale of the entire nation during the darkest of times to consider.
See related Geeks Vs Loneliness: being lonely on purpose Geeks Vs »
7 April 2017 1:54 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The magic of movies is on full display in Their Finest, the Stx release in which Gemma Arterton stars as an accidental screenwriter who pens a morale-building British Ministry of Information propaganda film with a cynical scribe, played by Sam Claflin. Causing trouble in the Lone Scherfig period dramedy is Bill Nighy as the haughty thespian Ambrose Hilliard, who is reduced to playing a supporting role he feels is beneath him.
Yet Nighy tells The Hollywood Reporter that he actively searches for roles — supporting or otherwise — that “will be of full value in the world rather than things »
- Ashley Lee
Adapted by Gabby Chiappe from Lissa Evans’ novel, “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” Scherfig’s latest period piece traces a fictionalized heroine as she changes the face of England’s propaganda-film machine in the waning days of World War II. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) isn’t a big dreamer — in war-torn London, no one is — but when she’s drafted into writing feel-good scripts for the Ministry of Information, she unexpectedly finds her calling.
“There were female scriptwriters at the time, but they weren’t credited,” Scherfig said. “They did write a lot, and the character is very loosely based on one of those.”
Scherfig, known for her early Dogme features and her breakout “An Education,” saw herself in both Catrin and in the character’s new and weird professional world. »
- Kate Erbland
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
Three New Movies May Have Trouble Making Much of a Mark
After a couple impressive March weekends with one new box office record, and a couple impressive openings, we’re now into April, and of the new movies, there just doesn’t seem like anything can defeat last week’s powerful duo of DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby--which exceeded all predictions with $49 million, taking the top spot from Beauty and the Beast. Ghost in the Shell didn’t even do as well as I thought it may, opening with just $19 million, those late reviews helping to kill its weekend.
- Edward Douglas
Full cast and details have been revealed for the upcoming BBC Two thriller series “Collateral,” starring Oscar-nominated Carey Mulligan and co-produced by Netflix. John Simm, Nicola Walker and Billie Piper have joined Mulligan in the new four-part drama, which marks the first original series from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Hare.
Written and created by Hare, “Collateral” is set over four days in present-day London and explores the spiraling consequences of the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery man. The series began filming in London this week.
“I’ve been writing drama for the BBC since 1973, but this is my first original series. I’m thrilled that it has such a stunningly gifted cast,” said Hare.
Mulligan will play a single-minded detective who refuses to accept the shooting as a random act of violence and is determined to discover if there is a darker truth beneath it. The BAFTA-winning actress previously worked with Hare on the 2014 revival »
- Robert Mitchell
British actress Gemma Arterton has specialized in playing versions of famous heroines in literature, be it Elizabeth Bennet or Tess of the D’Urbervilles or the tough-as-nails star of “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.” But in her latest film, “Their Finest,” she’s thrilled to be playing an “ordinary” woman.
Based on Lissa Evans’ novel “Their Finest Hour and a Half” and directed by Lone Scherfig (“An Education”), the film is set in London during World War II when the British ministry was utilizing propaganda films to boost morale. Arterton plays Catrin Cole, a scriptwriter who is brought on to handle the women’s dialogue — commonly referred to as “the nausea.” The film, opening this week, features an outstanding ensemble, including Bill Nighy as a washed-up actor and Sam Claflin as Catrin’s fellow writer and sparring partner.
- Jenelle Riley
The interview video was edited by Reynaldo Craig. Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy are powerfully showcasing that in the fight for unity and freedom, everyone’s input is equally important. In their upcoming war film, ‘Their Finest,’ their characters endure gripping journeys of personal growth as they struggle to find both their place in society and […]
- Karen Benardello
MaryAnn’s quick take… Delightful dry and snarky satire on wartime propaganda, sharp feminist commentary, and a brilliant cast make this snappy historical dramedy a real corker. I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast, love the period
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
London, 1940. At the height of the Blitz, the Ministry of Information, Film Division, brings in scriptwriter Catrin Cole (the always marvelous Gemma Arterton: The Girl with All the Gifts) to punch up the “slop” — you know, the girly stuff, the women’s dialogue — of its propaganda pictures. The ministry is particularly eager that one new film will appeal to Americans — and to American mothers and wives — and get them gung-ho to send their sons and husbands off to join the war in Europe. (That film is a very loosely »
- MaryAnn Johanson
In the 14 years since British rom-com classic Love Actually was released, a majority of the film’s fans have found nothing weird in the behavior of lovesick Mark (Andrew Lincoln), who’s infatuated with the new wife (Keira Knightley) of his best friend (Chiwetel Ejiofor). In one of the movie’s (often-parodied) touchstone scenes, Mark declares his unrequited love by holding large handwritten cards.
In an EW online poll last year, 66 percent of voters said that Mark was a lovestruck sap rather than a stalker creep. That’s not how Lincoln himself saw it. “In one of the most romantic movies of all time, »
- Joe McGovern
There have been many, many movies about World War II, and of course most of them are like Saving Private Ryan, or last year’s Hacksaw Ridge as they focus on the brave heroes who went off to war and found a way not only to survive, but also come home as heroes.
Their Finest, based on Lissa Evans’ 2009 book Their Finest Hour and a Half, instead focuses on the brave women back home who did their part to try to keep spirits up and continue to support the British troops overseas.
In the movie, Gemma Arterton plays Catrin Cole, an ad writer hired to write the female dialogue (or “slop”) for the British Ministry of Information’s propaganda films they release to inspire the people back in England. Working with screenwriter Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin), Catrin finds the story of two twin sisters who borrow their father’s boat »
- Edward Douglas
Welcome to the second quarter of 2017. Now that it’s April, we’re slowly moving out of the early year doldrums, though we’re not quite out of the woods just yet. April is sort of the splitting point. The blockbuster season is approaching, while the rougher stretch is wrapping up. The last vestiges of the early year dumping ground are hanging about, but they’re not the only things of note. As such, below you can see ten of the more solid bets for films this month. Check it out and be sure to look for more on many of the these over the coming weeks. Stay tuned folks… Here now are the ten very best bets for April cinematic viewing: 10. The Fate of the Furious – Confession: I’m not a fan of this franchise. Still, almost everyone else on the planet is. As such, this will be a massive success, »
- Joey Magidson
As Hugh Grant said in Love Actually‘s opening scene, “Love actually is all around.” That’s surely true for EW’s special Untold Stories issue, in which we reunited writer-director Richard Curtis and a fair percentage of the cast from the 2003 Christmas movie. In the photo above, you’ll see (from left) Bill Nighy (Billy Mack), Olivia Olson (Joanna), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam), Liam Neeson (Daniel), Colin Firth (Jamie), Lucia Moniz (Aurelia), Chiwetel Ejiofor, (Peter), Keira Knightley (Juliet), Andrew Lincoln (Mark), Hugh Grant (the Prime Minister), and Martine McCutcheon (Natalie).
The movie has its roots in large-cast classics like Robert Altman »
- Joe McGovern
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