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
In several scenes set in the trenches early in the war the soldiers are wearing helmets rather than service caps. Helmets were not introduced until late 1915, and not in widespread use until early 1916. See more »
Please don't keep things back from me, Roland, with an idea of sparing my feelings. I shall never be afraid to confront the real. The imagined holds far greater terror for me.
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During the opening credits, World War I guns can be heard in the background. See more »
Based on the memoir by Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander 'A Royal Affair' – who is superb) this is one woman's story of her war. We go back to 1914 before that awful war had begun and find a young and feisty woman (referred to at the time as a 'blue stocking') who has ambitions of studying at Oxford and is willing to shun the conventions of finding a husband din order to realise her dream.
She has a brother Edward (played touchingly by Taron Egerton) and he introduces her to his friend Roland. After a shaky start they realise they share a passion for poetry, the romantic sort and a friendship blossoms as indeed do their feelings. Then the war comes and everyone's intended plans for the future are put on hold to do their duty.
What follows is truly heartbreaking, I was moved to tears at one point and that is very rare. The cinematography is superb, the direction excellent and all of the actors are completely convincing and bring their respective roles to full realised life. One of the poems starts with the words 'life and hope and love and you', and that could be a pretty good description of what this film is about. The whole thing is just excellent and is a film that I can not only thoroughly recommend but would urge people to see.
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