Lone Scherfig, the director behind 2009’s Best Picture nominee An Education, has returned to form with Their Finest, a new period piece set in London during World War II. Due out on April 7, the film stars Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia), Sam Claflin (Me Before You), and Bill Nighy (Love Actually) as a group of filmmakers charged with creating a propaganda piece to lift the spirits of the country during wartime.
The movie, which marks a re-teaming of Scherfig with her An Education producer Amanda Posey (Brooklyn), centers on Arterton’s character Catrin Cole, a young, newly-married writer hired by the Ministry of Information’s Film Division to write “the slop” — the lines female characters speak to each other — on a new film. She works closely with lead writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin), a curmudgeon writer-type, while also becoming the key liaison to Ambrose Hilliard (Nighy), the pompous, past-his prime actor.
“Gemma’s character isn’t a feminist, she’s doing her job, doing what people tell her to do and trying for a long time to do everything for her artist husband. That’s why she goes to work,” Scherfig told EW at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, where the movie, written by British television writer Gaby Chiappe, first debuted. “Then all of a sudden she tastes blood and realizes how much fun work can be.”
The film gives voice to a woman who’s only given a chance to work because the war effort has taken all the men. Scherfig knew she needed a specific kind of woman for the role and had long wanted to work with Arterton, who first came to prominence in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. “She has great comedic timing and she’s a real woman,” says Scherfig. “She’s right in terms of knowing how to work really hard for what you want. Gemma is not spoiled in any way.”
You can see the new trailer for Their Finest exclusively above.