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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
4,310 ( 149)

Alicia Vikander Through the Years

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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:

$1,822,030
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

Taron Egerton and Colin Morgan both went on to star in Legend (2015) See more »

Goofs

When Vera is quickly walking out of the hospital, she runs into a nurse carry a basket. When she runs into her, a iPhone can be seen falling out of the Nurses hand and then can be seen in the mud.

It is not an iPhone. It's one of the rectangular gauze swabs that Vera has in her hand and bowl that she drops. You can see them seconds before, as she exits the hut, and afterwards as she walks into the field of stretchered wounded. See more »

Quotes

Vera Brittain: [speaking to gathered crowd] Can I find the courage to accept there might be another way? Perhaps their deaths have meaning only if we stand together now and say, "No!" No to killing. No to war. No to the endless cycle of revenge. I say no more of it. No
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Silver Threads Among the Gold
Written by H.P. Danks & Eben E. Rexford
Performed by John McCormack
Source: Library and Archives
Canada/Silver Threads Among the Gold
1922/AMICUS 31399658
See more »

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User Reviews

A worthy tribute to the fallen and those left behind
9 August 2015 | by rogerdarlingtonSee all my reviews

The centenary of the outbreak of what was at the time called The Great War, and came later to be known as The First World War, led to an outpouring of commemorative and cultural events. This explains the timing of "Testament Of Youth" which in fact is based on the famous first instalment of the memoirs of Vera Brittain (1893-1970) which was published as long ago as 1933 and is still in print. It is both a tale of tragic loss as young, idealistic men volunteer for the slaughter fields of France and Belgium and an account of an intelligent young woman's efforts to obtain a university education and make her independent way in the world.

There is a fine ensemble cast of established and new British actors, but the central role is the subject of a surprise and bold piece of casting as the Swedish actress Alicia Vikander plays the quintessentially British Brittain. However, Vikander gives a luminous performance and she is clearly destined for a very successful career. There is a sense of authenticity in having a female scriptwriter Juliette Towhidi to turn Brittain's memoir into a film and the whole thing is beautifully shot with stunning scenery plus period dress and transport.

There is a scene in "Testament Of Youth" which borrows directly from an iconic shot in the classic movie "Gone With The Wind": in both works, an overhead camera pulls back as the central female character walks through a field of dead and dying men revealing ever-larger numbers of bodies.


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