Their Finest Reviews
What this movie has to offer is quite a few great scenes...even ones not necessarily concerning the plot...and tons of atmosphere. The utilization of the movie inside the movie is also extremely well done, and is shot very well, giving us a nice throwback to early cinema. The sharp shifts in tones here work I believe because it is a movie that knows it is a period piece romance set in World War II Great Britain, meaning death and destruction can happen at any time, and the movie knows how to work that in rather well. For what the performances were supposed to be, I thought they were mostly solid, even if Bill Nighy's old man actor at the beginning starts off as a tad too unbelievable. Gemma Arterton as the protagonist doesn't always stick the landing in some scenes, but she has the charisma, likeability and necessary emotion to nail down the feels that the movie is going for.
The characters themselves are given plenty of characterization, most of them are dynamic and they do feel like real people in moments.
But the main problem this movie runs into - outside of its clunky beginning - is its mostly cliche'd handling of its romance. I feel like sometimes it forced characters to say and do things they otherwise wouldn't do for the sake of following the same old tried and true story beats that pervade run-of-the-mill romances. There's a scene with the protagonist's husband that I simply did not buy because of the way that they set him up his character as a geuiniely nice guy. Not that they have to drop hints or anything, but sometimes I feel you can go so far to build a character that there are limits you would sense with that character, and his character exceeded those limits. It felt like it was forced in there almost like a rewrite to move the story along.
Of course I will say there were other romantic elements I didn't initially buy, but they did revisit them in clever ways that made you care for the characters even more. I would say that the climax, although genuinely unique and effective, felt rushed, and I didn't get the full impact that I think the filmmakers were hoping would hit me.
But overall, I thought this was a well-made, touching story that did rather well to tie the war going on around the characters with the human emotions they still feel as far as love and passion are concerned.
I would say that Their Finest gets a 7.4 and that it is Enjoyable.