7.3/10
25,875
78 user 123 critic

Testament of Youth (2014)

Trailer
1:56 | Trailer
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)
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 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

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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Saoirse Ronan was originally cast as Vera Brittain but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Alicia Vikander replaced her. See more »

Goofs

At 1:46 Vera puts some flowers in a vase, Sarah Bernhardt peonies and Pierre de Ronsard roses. While Sarah Bernhardt peony was created in 1895, Eden rose, also called "Pierre de Ronsard" was created in 1985. See more »

Quotes

Winifred Holtby: All of us are surrounded by ghosts. Now we need to learn how to live with them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Making of Testament of Youth (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
Lyrics by Jessie B. Pounds (as Jessie Brown Pounds)
Music by John S. Fearis (as J.S. Fearis)
Performed by John McCormack
Source: Library and Archives Canada/
Beautiful Isle of Somewhere 1921/AMICUS 31399650 (1897)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Great visuals and Alicia Vikander really lift this adaptation of Vera Brittain's powerful memoir
25 November 2015 | by The_late_Buddy_RyanSee all my reviews

Vikander's assured performance really saves this film from being just another solemn costume drama, and it's largely thanks to her that the passion that inspired Vera Brittain's antiwar classic still shows through despite a sometimes rushed and perfunctory screenplay. Kit Harington ("Game of Thrones") is suitably intense as Vera's fiancé, Roland Leighton (didn't recognize John Snow at first in his new guise as beardless nature poet).

The camera may seem to dwell too much on idyllic country scenes and beautiful vistas at the expense of plot and character, though that does help to heighten the contrast between Vera's privileged but restricted prewar life and the new life of purpose and endless horror that awaits her at a field hospital in France. The camera's used most effectively when the two worlds collide-to illustrate Roland's poem addressed to the corpse of a German soldier found lying in a patch of wildflowers, most of all in the panorama of a boundless field of dead and dying men surrounding the hospital after a "big push" (which echoes the famous crane shot after the Battle of Atlanta in "Gone with the Wind"). I'll let the nitpickers figure out if the Leightons' house on the South Coast really did have a magnificent view of what looks like the White Cliffs of Dover, but the stormy shoreline makes the perfect backdrop for a scene in which Roland returns angry and shellshocked from the front

The basic storyline-Vera's service in France and her romance with Roland Leighton-is skillfully dramatized and very moving; her struggle with the conventions of Georgian family life is somewhat less involving, one exception being an ironic episode in which she's summoned back from the front to deal with a family "crisis," only to find that her mother's gotten sick and has fallen behind with the housework

The much-praised '79 series with Cheryl Campbell only seems to be available on VHS and Region 2 DVD; I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this gorgeous and affecting new version as an alternative.


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Details

Country:

UK | Denmark

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

16 January 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Testament of Youth 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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