(UK/Sweden - 2017)
47 METERS DOWN in terms of unnecessary cruelty, but THEIR FINEST is an enjoyably old-fashioned "war at home" WWII saga that became a small word-of-mouth art house hit in the spring. In London in 1940, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) thinks she's getting a secretarial job with the Ministry of Information's film division. With most of the men called up as the war escalates, she's actually been hired as a screenwriter after department head Roger Swain (Richard E. Grant) was impressed with some comics she wrote for a newspaper in the absence of the regular writers who were off fighting. Teaming with in-house scribe Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin), Catrin's job is to come up with inspiring scripts for movies to keep the British citizens' spirits lifted amidst constant air raids and concerns, as Swain puts it, "that there won't even be any theaters left to show them." Catrin is drawn to the story of twin sisters Lily and Rose Starling (Lily and Francesca Knight) who have found a certain degree of local fame for taking their father's boat, the Nancy Starling, to rescue soldiers at Dunkirk. The sisters have embellished the story significantly, as the Ministry eventually discovers that they tried to go to Dunkirk, but their engine broke down and they were towed back before they even left British waters. It's got too much crowd-pleasing potential to dismiss, so Catrin and Tom are instructed to fictionalize it, and to also add an authoritative male figure--a drunk uncle played by aging thespian Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy)--because no one will believe that two young women took a boat to Dunkirk.
(US/Canada - 2017)