Friday, January 29, 2016

Movie Review: "The Finest Hours"

On February 18, 1952, the SS Pendleton oil tanker broke in two just off the coast of Cape Cod during a violent Nor'easter.  The Finest Hours is the heroic tale of the four Coast Guard crewmen who defied all odds and pulled off one of the greatest rescue missions of all-time.  Starring Chris Pine as soft-spoken Bernie Webber, the Coast Guard Captain who piloted the tiny rescue boat into the storm and came back with 32 Pendleton survivors aboard, The Finest Hours is a beautifully realized history lesson that is full of emotion.

While some might call this movie old-fashioned, that is the reason I like it.  This is a movie that represents everyday men and women full of courage in the face of insurmountable fear.  In short, if I had to sum up this movie in one word, it would be bravery.  From the bravery displayed by Bernie Webber and his fellow Coast Guardsmen, to the crew of the SS Pendleton led by Casey Affleck's Ray Sybert, all the way to Holliday Grainger as Miriam Pentinen, Bernie's fiance who is doing everything on land to make sure Bernie comes home safely, it was the bravery of all of the individuals involved that created such a fascinating story.  Of course, what makes The Finest Hours stick with you is the relationship between Bernie and Miriam.  Pine and Grainger have a magnetic chemistry that has you rooting for them to be together, with Grainger exuding a screen presence not too dissimilar from many starlets of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  It is this ability to emotionally connect that makes The Finest Hours more than an interesting true life adventure story.

I give The Finest Hours a 9 out of 10!

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