7.3/10
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70 user 120 critic

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
3,682 ( 65)

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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 143.163. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Vera Brittain: 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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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode #44.2 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Solace
Composed by Scott Joplin
Played by Alexander Peskanov piano
Licensed courtesy of Naxos Rights US Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Heart breaking and moving true story.
7 June 2015 | by t-dooley-69-386916See all my reviews

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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