2014 – Testament of Youth

Kit as Roland Leighton

Directed by: James Kent
Written by: Juliette Towhidi
Produced by: Rosie Alison, David Heyman
Budget: $10 million
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Original release: October 14, 2014
Rated: PG-13 for thematic material including bloody and disturbing war related images
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Running time: 2 hours, 9 minutes
Other cast: Alicia Vikander, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Dominic West
Misc: IMDB | Amazon | iTunes

The story begins in the Edwardian spring of 1914, with Vera Brittain – a youthful feminist, free-minded and irrepressible – determined to sit exams for Oxford, against her conservative parents’ wishes. She is encouraged and inspired by her brother and his friends, particularly the brilliant Roland Leighton, who shares her dream of being a writer. But her hopes for Oxford with Roland turn to dust as war is declared, and all the young men enlist; she herself gives up her dream of writing, and becomes a nurse. What follows is a story of heightened, urgent love between Vera and Roland – interrupted by the war, as Vera moves closer and closer to the front, eventually nursing German soldiers, who help her to recognise the futility of war. Through Vera we see youthful love buffeted by fatal losses and the overpowering tide of history, as one by one those closest to her are lost to the war. Yet Vera’s story is also one of survival, as she returns from the war determined to find a new purpose, and to keep faith with those she has lost, spurring her towards a powerful act of remembrance

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Trailer

Reviews

It’s great to see the excellent Harington — Jon Snow on Game of Thrones — break of that bleak midwinter and play an artist whose poet’s eye is blurred by combat. Harington and Vikander provide the spark the film needs to get us through the tribulations and tragedies that pile on with numbing regularity – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Given fewer complex notes to play, Harington and Egerton nonetheless don’t waste them; together with supporting standout Colin Morgan, wonderful as a less strapping soldier with an unrequited yen for the heroine, they movingly evoke the fast-fading bravado and ill-concealed terror of boys at war – Guy Lodge, Variety

Filming Locations
  • Goathland, North Yorkshire, UK
  • Keighley Railway Station, West Yorkshire, UK
  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway, North Yorkshire, UK
  • Oxfordshire, UK
  • Derbyshire, UK
  • St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, London, UK
  • Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire, UK
  • Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, UK
  • Merton College, Oxford, UK
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