Oh! what a lovely war

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - | FILM REVIEWS -

A great en­sem­ble cast put in a ster­ling war ef­fort in this smart drama , writes Tara Brady THEIR FINEST ★★★★ Di­rected by Lone Scher­fig. Star­ring Gemma Arter­ton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, He­len McCrory, Jack Hus­ton, Richard E. Grant, Rachael Stir­ling, Henry Good­man, Jeremy Irons. Cert 12A, gen re­lease, 117mins Look­ing back to the unlovely 2013 flop Hansel & Gre­tel: Witch Hunters, it hardly seems fair that Hansel (the per­fectly ca­pa­ble Jeremy Ren­ner) has sub­se­quently been seen by bil­lions of pun­ters (thank you, Marvel­verse), while his more tal­ented co-star Gemma Arter­ton has failed to set the box of­fice alight, even when she ap­pears in such ter­rific movies as The Girl with All the Gifts.

Arter­ton does tremen­dous work in this sec­ond World War drama from Lone Scher­fig, bring­ing a rare vul­ner­a­bil­ity to a Blitz-era hero­ine where a lesser thes­pian might have opted for full-blown Stiff Up­per Lip: pic­ture Brief En­counter’s Celia Johnson with a Welsh lilt.

Fol­low­ing on from Hid­den Fig­ures’ re­cent ex­ca­va­tion of over­looked her­story, this adap­ta­tion of Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half ex­am­ines the role of women on the home front.

Dur­ing the 1940 bomb­ing of Lon­don, tal­ented copy­writer Ca­trin Cole (Arter­ton) is drafted in by the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion’s Film Divi­sion to bring a fe­male per­spec­tive to their pro­pa­ganda reels.

“Ob­vi­ously we can’t pay you as much as the chaps,” her su­per­vi­sor (Richard E Grant) ex­plains mat­ter-of-factly.

Soon af­ter, she’s dis­patched to in­ter­view twin sis­ters who helped bring sol­diers home dur­ing the evac­u­a­tion of Dunkirk. The details, she

On script Gemma Arter­ton and Bill Nighy in Their Finest

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