Its 1940 London during the Blitz and Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) gets a job as a screenwriter thanks to her ability to write believable “slop” (women’s dialogue). Paired with Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) she is tasked with writing an authentic war movie that also acts as propaganda to both galvanise the British people and persuade the American people that this is a war worth fighting in.
For what ultimately feels a very slight film there is an awful lot going on. Women in the workplace, the struggles people faced during the Blitz, the art of screenwriting and filmmaking, and truth versus a good story all feature.
As with many films he features in, Bill Nighy is a scene stealer as an aging actor who initially is very distrustful of a female writer. But the film still belongs to Arterton who delivers another low-key nuanced performance and delivers some very emotionally affecting scenes in the final moments.
During one scene the filmmakers receive a memo from their American distributors advising that they feel the film being made is too subtle and that their audience requires more oomph. It is advice that perhaps this film could have taken.