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Testament of Youth (2014)

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A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I - a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times.

Director:

James Kent

Writers:

Vera Brittain (autobiography), Juliette Towhidi (screenplay by)
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Popularity
4,096 ( 1,739)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alicia Vikander ... Vera Brittain
Taron Egerton ... Edward Brittain
Colin Morgan ... Victor Richardson
Dominic West ... Mr. Brittain
Emily Watson ... Mrs. Brittain
Kit Harington ... Roland Leighton
Joanna Scanlan ... Aunt Belle
Miranda Richardson ... Miss Lorimer
Rachel Redford ... Exam Candidate
Nicholas Farrell ... Headmaster
Daisy Waterstone ... Clare Leighton
Nicholas Le Prevost ... Mr. Leighton
Anna Chancellor ... Mrs. Leighton
Teresa Churcher ... Passenger
Xavier Atkins ... Boy on Bicycle
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Storyline

A long, long time ago, back in the spring of 1914, they were so happy together. There was Vera Brittain, an upper class girl with ideas of her own; and her bright brother Edward; and his group of friends among whom Roland Leighton, wonderful, handsome, sensitive Roland Vera had fallen for... Always having great times together talking, laughing, exchanging ideas, walking, eating, swimming together; all of them envisioning the glittering future they deserved: Vera, despite her father's opposition, would study at Oxford, marry Roland and be a famous writer; Roland, as for him, would be acclaimed as a great poet while Edward and his friends would each become a prominent figure in his respective field... But then came that fateful day on 4 August 1914 when Britain declared war on Germany. All those beautiful dreams were to be shattered one after the other. All except one: Vera wound up becoming a writer... A writer but a pacifist as well. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Divided by war. United by love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including bloody and disturbing war related images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Denmark

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

16 January 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Testamento de juventud See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,000, 7 June 2015

Gross USA:

$1,822,250

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,874,883
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vera Brittain also worked as a nurse in Malta and the ship she was travelling on was almost sunk by a torpedo; the film omits this part of the book (presumably for time and budget constraints) See more »

Goofs

When the Sister, a Scottish woman in her sixties, instructs Vera and another nurse to prepare two hundred beds by lunchtime, she says to them, "Move it, move it!" This would be anachronistic even in an American hospital at the time, let alone in Britain. It's only one step short of "Haul ass!" See more »

Quotes

Vera Brittain: Edward was always a good listener, since his own form of self-expression then consisted in making unearthly and to me quite meaningless sounds on his small violin. I remember him, at the age of seven, as a rather solemn, brown-eyed little boy, with beautiful arched eyebrows which lately, to my infinite satisfaction, have begun to reproduce themselves, a pair of delicate question-marks, above the dark eyes of my five-year-old son...
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, World War I guns can be heard in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode #44.1 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Solace
Composed by Scott Joplin
Played by Alexander Peskanov piano
Licensed courtesy of Naxos Rights US Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elegantly filmed piece portraying the futility of war
23 January 2015 | by Figgy66-915-598470See all my reviews

23 January 2015 Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight - Testament of Youth. Based on the book by Vera Brittain which is a best selling account of her experiences during the First World War, this film follows the life of Vera herself during those harrowing times. Starting out gently, we follow Vera, her brother and his friends from their comfortable life in the country to the eve of the war in 1914 and beyond. I say gently because this film eases you into what was one of the horrors of recent history, a time which shattered people and ruined lives forever. After fighting so hard to get to Oxford, Vera then gives it all up to become a nurse, a journey which ultimately takes her to France and gives her first hand experience of the massacre that war dishes out. There is a romantic thread running through the film but her strongest bond is with her brother and her world is torn apart when he signs up to fight. Vera was played beautifully by Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress who I am not familiar with, but she had look of Emily Blunt in her facial expressions and mannerisms, and unfortunately did not seem to age at all during the film, not even in grief. However that is my only criticism in an elegantly shot film even when covering the abomination that is war. Another cinematic experience to make you think.


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