Actor Sam Claflin experiences the hell and horror of war in two stunning new films.
Claflin and Gemma Arterton employ clipped diction and understated glances in Their Finest (which opens here on April 21): a stirring romantic comedy about an introspective producer (Claflin) running the government’s propaganda film unit in World War II. He hires a woman (Arterton) to create scripts and story ideas to help boost the war effort at home.
The movie, directed by Lone Scherfig, has priceless supporting performances by Bill Nighy, Rachael Stirling and Helen McCrory.
And Claflin recently completed work on Saul Dibb’s powerful screen version of R. C . Sherriff ’s play Journey’s End: a portrait of what it was like for a British unit in the trenches.
The 30-year-old actor plays Captain Stanhope, a sensitive alpha male and brilliant leader who has become a hard drinker: booze his only solace on the Front. The actor gives peerless performances in both pictures — and now other producers and film-makers are sitting up and taking note. “Sam goes to very dark places in Journey’s End,” said director Dibb, admiringly. “He looks like a man who has endured the awful things that happened over there.”