"The Finest Hours"
Release Date: Jan. 28, 2016
Running Time: 114 minutes
A worthy companion piece to The Perfect Storm, The Finest Hours recalls with vivid realism and emotional resonance the 1952 rescue mission of the surviving crew members of an oil tanker that split in half during a nor’easter off the Cape Cod coast. Director Craig Gillespie focuses on the valiant efforts of two quiet men who refused to quit in the face of adversity: United States Coast Guardsman Bernard C. Webber (Chris Pine) and SS Pendleton first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck). Pine and Affleck portray these real-life heroes as tight-lipped, steadfast men of action who are intently aware of their own mortality. While Sybert is married to the sea, and is consequently defined solely by his relationship to the SS Pendleton, Gillespie quickly establishes Webber as a man with much more to lose. The Finest Hours opens a year earlier with Webber meeting his future wife, the no-nonsense Miriam, who is played with equal amounts of affection and firmness by Holiday Grainger. Gillespie effectively employs Miriam as the film’s voice of concern when Webber and three other seamen (played by Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner and John Magaro) put their lives on the line to mount their rescue mission before the stern of the oil tanker sinks. The tension aboard the SS Pendleton is palpable, especially whenever the crew threatens to turn against each other when their fate seems bleak. Gillespie seizes the moment to present compelling psychological profiles of these men who fight when every fiber of their body under unbelievable duress. Affleck’s calm and collected Sybert offers a perfect contrast to the rough weather and the powerful waves that pound the oil tanker into scrap metal. Obviously aware that the stakes are high, Gillespie structures The Finest Hours as a gripping race against the clock while taking us deep into the heart of the storm. However, he never gets so consumed by the thrill-ride aspect of The Finest Hours that he neglects the people involved in and touched by this disaster. No matter how bad the weather gets in The Finest Hours, it cannot beat out the good in those blessed with a courageous heart.
Aired: Jan. 29, 2016
Web site: http://movies.disney.com/the-finest-hours