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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
2,665 ( 1,095)

Alicia Vikander Through the Years

Take a look back at the career of Alicia Vikander on and off the big screen.

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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,822,030, 11 October 2015
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

Alicia Vikander and cinematographer Rob Hardy worked together on Ex Machina (2014). See more »

Goofs

When Vera is reading Roland's poem about violets, the "violets" shown both on the ground and in Roland's hand are actually pansies. See more »

Quotes

Miss Lorimer: Men go off to fight and we stay behind and knit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Film '72: 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

 
Definitely Worth A Watch. With Tissues.
9 April 2015 | by crissgidasSee all my reviews

Testament of Youth is considered one of the great war memoirs. The film is a true-life account of Vera Brittian's life from 1914 - 1918, and a chronicle of how World War One affected not only her, but the nation's lives.

I had heard about this book during high school when I studied 20th Century History but never actually read it. After hearing that a film was to be released, with the ever stunning and awe- inspiring Swede, Alicia Vikander, playing Vera Brittain, I knew it was something to be excited about.

Unlike the many films that have been made about both world wars, Testament of Youth explores the utter loss of not only a young woman who looses everyone she has come to love, but loss of those on both sides of the war. It focuses on the domestic view. The view of, really, an unseen or explored perspective on the despair that war can cause. I started to bawl my eyes out about halfway through the film and the tears didn't stop until well after the lights came up in the cinema.

The film progressively gets darker as war becomes more of a presence within the story, with the most heartbreaking scenes kicked off by Brittain's loss of fiancé, Roland Leighton (Kit Harrington), and her transferral to the front line in France. There is no holding back in how disturbing of an experience it was for Brittain as we a shown first had what she dealt with.

The film held together with strong direction and script along with a well performing cast of Kit Harrington, Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Hayley Atwell, and newcomer Taron Egerton.

It was given a world-premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014, the film was released in time for Remembrance Day in November and awards season, in which it ashamedly didn't gain the recognition it deserved. For me, the film is as good as fellow war film and Oscar nominated, The Imitation Game.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a book to read.


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