Testament of Youth – Film Review

A handsome and well-acted World War I biopic, but less affecting than it could have been

This adaptation of Vera Brittain’s bestselling 1933 World War I memoir of the same name has plenty to recommend it. Emerging Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who starred in Oscar-nominated Danish film A Royal Affair in 2012, delivers a sensitive, intelligent performance as Brittain, a headstrong Derbyshire girl who postponed her Oxford education to nurse wounded soldiers in France. Director James Kent’s film also boasts impeccable period production values and a classy supporting cast, including The Wire’s Dominic West as Brittain’s father and Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington as her fiancé fighting on the front line. Sadly, because some of her tragic story’s most harrowing moments feel a bit rushed, this handsome and well-acted film is less affecting than it could have been.

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