Two weeks after I got married my husband left for boot camp, and I was left waiting at home for letters of his well being. When he graduated boot camp, he was stationed at the United States Coast Guard Base in Miami, FL. Hurricane Andrew had just devastated the area, so I had to wait until our baby was born to be able to join him. A couple months later, our baby girl was born. He tried his best to make it to us in time, but she just wasn't waiting.
During our time in the Coast Guard, there would be many times when I was at home just waiting while he was doing search and rescues, drug busts, patrols, and hurricanes; I can't forget hurricanes. When a hurricane came through they took the ships out so they wouldn't get smashed against the dock, and they stayed on them! This left me waiting at home while a hurricane passed through, wondering if he was going to be okay. That's the life of a Coast Guard wife; there's a whole lot of waiting and not knowing. I felt it all again while watching The Finest Hours.
This movie is amazing! To see this incredible story of the most daring rescue in U. S. Coast Guard's history, and to know it actually happened is just awe inspiring. The Finest Hours takes place in 1952 when a massive nor'easter struck New England. The storm pummeled towns and tore apart ships including 2 large oil tankers, one of which the S.S. Pendleton, is left with one half of its hull still afloat with 30 plus men still aboard. The Finest Hours tells the story of the S.S. Pendleton's engineer, (Casey Affleck) and his incredible ingenuity and courage to fight to keep the ship's remains afloat long enough to be rescued. By chance, the broken ship is spotted, but due to other rescues in the area, the Coast Guard station is only left with one option; to send a small wooden boat with a tiny crew out on what is sure to be a suicide mission.
From the first moment this movie grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let go. I was dragged in by the love story, and held tight by the action. The Finest Hours is intense! The special effects of the broken ship and the massive waves, the writing, the acting, it is all wonderful; and all worth a trip to see it on the big screen. I saw it in 3D which I'm normally not a fan of, and while I still don't know if it's worth paying extra for, there were some cool effects that may make it worth it for you.
Chris Pine is good as the rule following Bernie, Captain of the rescue boat, and Holliday Grainger is both beautiful and strong as his girlfriend, but the one who steals the show is Casey Affleck. Affleck's role as the ship engineer is superb, leaving me to once again say that in the Affleck family, Casey is the one with the true acting skills.
Needless to say, I truly enjoyed The Finest Hours. It is a nice recognition of the work done by the men and women of the U.S.C.G., and a great reminder of how trivial life's little problems are. There is a great world out there with people fighting to make it a better place, and a great many people supporting them and waiting to know that they are safe.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I attended a free screening of the film for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and I'm under no obligation to endorse the film. I just really like it.