Catrin lives with her struggling artist husband in WWII-era London. Assuming she is applying for a secretarial post at the Ministry of Information, she is hired to write women’s dialogue—the “slop”—for wartime propaganda shorts. Jaded veteran screenwriter Tom reluctantly acknowledges Catrin’s value, and enlists her help in writing an inspirational film about the war effort.
Endearing performances by Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin as the contentious collaborators, and a delightful comic turn by Bill Nighy as an arrogant actor forced to accept that he’s past his prime, make Their Finest a total charmer. Setting the filmmaking crew’s witty banter and comic foibles against a realistic, harrowing depiction of wartime London imbues their efforts with urgency, as Scherfig creates a stealthily moving portrait of the power of cinema.