This British film set during WWII has the same simple charm and careful balance of grave seriousness and wry humour as actual British films from that era.
Gemma Arterton plays Catrin Cole, a copywriter who is drafted into a screenwriting role by the Ministry of Information who want to have a female perspective in their propaganda films. Working alongside pompous and misogynous screenwriter Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin), Cole is constantly battling his overt sexism and disdain in an effort to gain respect for her writing. However, the ice between them soon melts and a flame begins to kindle (somewhat predictably). The slow boil romance is actually one of the weaker plot elements of the film. The cast includes a collection of diverse and somewhat archetypal characters who provide lots of texture. Undeniably though, it’s Bill Nighy as the reluctantly ageing screen star, Ambrose Hilliard, who’s the unofficial hero of the film, deliberately chewing up scenery with self aware ostentation.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich