Monday, February 01, 2016

The Finest Hours

I went to see "The Finest Hours" tonight and I was thoroughly entertained!
The film is a well-crafted nostalgia piece based on a tragedy that occurred in 1952 in Massachusetts, where a young Coast Guard lieutenant falls head-over-heels in love with a sweet, pretty woman who finds herself intrigued by the handsome young officer's naiveté and innocence.
Just as the romance has reached a boil, and a wedding date is discussed and decided on, a terrible storm slams into the Atlantic Ocean, focused off the coastline of Mass.
As a result, two tankers are split in two, bisected from port to starboard, requiring a rescue attempt by the Coast Guard.
The cinematography and special effects are amazing (especially in 3-D).
I saw it on an iMax screen and I was blown away by the realism and stomach-churning sensations that the artful photography evoked! Wind-driven sea foam splatters into your face; the prow of the boat slides down the face of a 6-story wave and submerges, all the while transporting viewers into the scene and creating a visceral experience that elevates the heart-pounding suspense.
The plot is a simple - men in harm's way trying to overcome enormous odds to survive  -  and battling one another at moments when time is critical and men shouting at one another about the best course of action is a deadly waste of time.
As you can tell, I was much taken by the film. The cast, including Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, and a beautiful actress whose name eludes me at the moment, was in codmmand of their characterizations, each turning in a noteworthy performance.
I think that many younger moviegoers may have bypassed this offering because of its simple plot - a rescue attempt against impossible odds - and the sincerity of the actors in portraying people who lived in a simpler time (1950s), and during a period in the U.S. when we still had our innocence and belief in the "goodness" of doing right - even when doing right was unpopular and potentially fatal.
I give it 4 stars our of five, and even that's subjective (ain't it all?)!
Well worth a the hour and 45 minute immersion.


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