Synopsis: Based on Vera Brittain's memoir of the same name, Testament of Youth recounts the experiences of a young woman during the First World War as she slowly loses those she loves and how that influenced her life as an anti-war campaigner.
Stan's thoughts: This is a film that is about the tragedy and cost of war but it is also about a feminist fighting for equal treatment for women and the birth of a pacifist at time when it was seen as unpatriotic.
Vera's is quite an incredible story, it is one of great tragedy but equally one that inspires. In the beginning we see her fighting to be allowed to go to Oxford University with her brother and friend. Her father (Dominic West) thinks it is a waste of time and money when she should be thinking about marriage.
Then war breaks out and her brother Edward (Taron Egerton), her friend Victor (Colin Morgan) and boyfriend Roland (Kit Harrington) all sign up. Unable to bear sitting around studying while they are fighting she becomes a nurse.
This film doesn't glamourise the war instead it shows it in its dirty, bloody and deadly glory. And Vera is a fascinating heroine; she doesn't always say the right thing and is stubborn and sometimes has fiery outbursts. Despite her independence and confidence of spirit she is ill-prepared for what she ultimately faces.
It is refreshing to see a war film from a woman's perspective and it is of course great to see a film that has such a good, meaty part for a young woman, a part that doesn't involve a man running in to rescue her or vampires.
Take tissues only the hardest of heart will be unmoved by Vera's story.
- Stan’s 85%
- IMDB 72%
- Metascore 75%
- Rotten Tomatoes 85%
- RT Audience Rating* 89%
* Number of people rating 3.5/5 or higher