"'Their Finest' is an offbeat romantic comedy about making a film and making love in a Blitz-pounded World War II-era London.
"The film, based on a novel by Lissa Evans, is ably carried by Gemma Arterton ('Gemma Bovery'), with a marvelous supporting cast, and reminds us what an appealing romantic heroine Arterton is.
"As the Germans carpet bomb London in the early years of World War II, clever and attractive Welshwoman Catrin Cole (Arterton) is enlisted by the head of the Ministry of Information (Richard E. Grant) to help research and provide women’s dialogue ('slop') for a morale-boosting film that has 'authenticity.'
"The story the minister wants to dramatize is about a pair of real-life sisters who piloted their father’s boat to Dunkirk to help evacuate British soldiers. Of course, Catrin will not be paid as much as her male colleagues. One of them is the young, handsome, talented and witty Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin). Sparks begin to fly.
"One of the several strengths of 'Their Finest' is its depiction of World War II-era filmmaking in England, and one of the joys of these scenes is the performance of the great Bill Nighy ('The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel') as an aging English leading man who will not go gently into that good night of character actor roles and is a supremely sensitive artist when it serves his purpose.
"In 'Their Finest,' Nighy delivers the first official Academy Award-worthy performance of 2017. 'Their Finest' is as steeped in pre-World War II-era British film lore and behind-the-scenes action as 'Shakespeare in Love' is in the writings of the Bard and workings of the Globe theater. Among other things, 'Their Finest' boasts a funny cameo by Jeremy Irons. The film is both a slyly feminist romance and an appetizer for the forthcoming epic 'Dunkirk.' Director Lone Scherfig brings the same light touch and intelligence that made 'Italian for Beginners' and 'An Education' such a joy. Add the music of Rachel Portman, and it’s magic." - Boston Herald