This English WWII film is primarily a drama, although it has many comedic moments. The Danish director (Lone Scherfig – “An Education”) does another fine job, working with a superior ensemble cast.
Catrin Cole (Gemma Atherton) and her husband, Ellis Cole (Jack Huston), are barely able to make ends meet. He’s an artist who isn’t selling, and she’s not making much money either. It’s about 1940, the Germans are bombing London regularly, and many people are dying. The situation in London is quite tense and morale is low.
Catrin gets a break and lands a job with the Ministry of Information film division, writing the female dialogue for war-related shorts. She’s quite talented and soon becomes the screen-writer of the female dialogue (known as “the slop”) for a full-length feature film about Dunkirk, a propaganda extravaganza designed to lift the spirits of the English and entice the USA to enter the fray!
One of the Dunkirk film’s main characters (Uncle Frank) is being played by the once-famous Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy), and it is Nighy who provides most of the movie’s laughs. (He’s his usual fantastic self, delivering lines with facial expressions like no one else!) The making of the Dunkirk film is a comedy, set against the somber back-drop of WWII London.
Catrin is working with Tom Buckley (Sam Clarfin) – another screen-writer. They are competitive and often banter with each other, but the erotic tension between them keeps increasing as the film progresses.
I can’t reveal any more about the plot, but it’s an interesting, nuanced, and enjoyable film. It’s good enough to see now on the BS, but it will also work fine as a rental.