One of the things I love about seeing advanced screenings of movies is the chance to go see a movie without having been jaded by anyone else’s review of it. I like for movies to be a clean slate when I see them – no expectations, no having someone else’s interpretation influence my take on it. The less I know about the movie beforehand, the happier I am.
Going into The Finest Hours, all I knew was that it was about an at sea rescue somewhere off of Cape Cod. I had seen a quick trailer and it immediately reminded me of The Perfect Storm. Oh, and I think I had heard that Casey Afflick was in it. I didn’t even realize I would be seeing it in 3D until the PR rep who checked my in handed me a set of glasses!
So, where to start? I was probably a bit predisposed to love this movie as much of it was filmed in Massachusetts including Quincy and Chatham as well as at several South Shore locations. Having spent a lot of time in MA and a summer living on the Cape, I loved the scenery more than most. (And for once, I didn’t physically cringe from the Massachusetts accents.)
The Finest Hours Plot Summary
Based on the book by the same name, The Finest Hours tells the story of the 1952 Coast Guard rescue of an oil tanker (the SS Pendleton) that had split in half. (I didn’t even know that could happen!) The story becomes even more gripping when you realize that the rescue boat was essentially a tiny motorboat with a crew of just four. I spent a large part of their fight to get to the tanker wondering how exactly they were going to help if they actually got there. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the movie by telling you.
Bernie Webber, the main character, is played by Chris Pine. Pine is quietly intense during most of the film and kind of reminded me of Ray Liotta at some points. (I mean the terse but sweet Corrina, Corrina Ray Liotta and not the scary I’m-gonna-kill-you Unlawful Entry Ray Liotta.)
Another notable performance is given by Holliday Grainger who plays Miriam, Bernie’s girlfriend/fiance. Miriam is not your typical 50’s girl and adds an enjoyable spark to the scenes back at the Coast Guard headquarters while the rescue attempt is being executed.
Is The Finest Hours suitable for kids?
While The Finest Hours is a Disney film, it is not one of their films aimed at children. There isn’t anything inappropriate about it – there is no swearing (despite the movie being about sailors) and the romance between Bernie and Miriam is sweet and chaste. There are a few mildly frightening scenes when larger waves hit the freighter and crew members are struck by debris, but compared to the blood and guts we are used to seeing on film, the gore is very mild. The 3D special effects made these scenes realistic enough that I found myself closing my eyes at some points! I’m not sure that the film would necessarily hold the interest of the average young child. I, however, enjoyed it a lot!
The Finest Hours opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 29th and is rated PG-13. It has a running time of 1 hour and 54 minutes. Learn more about the film at www.movies.disney.com/the-finest-hours
Thank you to Disney for allowing me to attend a screening of The Finest Hours and thank you to all the members of the Coast Guard for putting their lives on the line when people need help!