Directed By: Lone Scherfig
Set during World War 2 the British Ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) to write the female parts and dialogue for their important morale boosting films. There she and Buckley (Sam Claflin) begin working together on a film about the evacuation of Dunkirk.
There are going to be spoilers below (though I try to keep it somewhat vague). Couldn’t really talk about this film without talking about the ending.
First the best parts- the performances are all excellent. I especially loved Bill Nighy in this as an aging vain actor hired to play the drunk and doomed Uncle for the movie.
Confession- I sometimes feel like he’s a bit overrated but I really liked him here. He brought a certain heart to Ambrose so that even in the beginning you neither hated him or laughed at him. I especially liked the progression into a mentor like role as both the film and the film inside a film rolled on.
I’m a sucker for behind the scenes about anything creative so I loved the writing bits and the bits about shooting the movie. The token American they needed (in order to get the Americans on their side) and him being a truly dreadful, awful actor (although a war hero) was quiet amusing.
There are also some good bits that stand out like when Ambrose is identifying a body and the nurse talks about fixing up the bombing victims as best they can. Or a ministry official keeps touching and patting Catrin during a meeting. Not things that were over the top or called attention to themselves but nice little bits of history that made it feel more authentic.
Helen McCrory has a small part in this. I think the character was supposed to be funny but honestly I just found her obnoxious and she treats a dog badly throughout- so she could have gone away for all I cared about her.
I also honestly couldn’t bring myself to like the romance. Arterton and Claflin are great actors but I felt like he was a jerk to her a little too much. Okay, it could be the whole the boy likes the girl so he’ll pull her ponytail whatever. Then when everything gets wrapped up with fifteen-twenty minutes left of the movie I was like, “I know where this is going…”
And then I was like, “Seriously! Like that?”
Oh, I know. The pointless randomness of life and stuff. But then why bother with the romance at all? I guess you could say I didn’t object to what happened at the end as much as the execution of it.
Recommend: Eh. Take it for historical fiction or a good behind the scenes. Oddly considering what Catrin’s job was- I think it could have used the most work on the relationship/romance element and that ending.