Testament of Youth

June 6th, 2015


Testament of Youth

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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.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 7.2/10 (2,123 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: James Kent

Stars: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton

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.

Writers: Vera Brittain, Juliette Towhidi

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

Taglines: Divided by war. United by love.

Country: UK

Language: English

Release Date: 16 January 2015

Filming Locations: Merton Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Saoirse Ronan was originally cast as Vera Britain but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Alicia Vikander replaced her. See more »

User Review


Rating: 8/10

Considered one of the greatest war memoirs ever written, the Testament of Youth is a true-life account of Vera Brittian's life from 1914 - 1918, and a chronicle of how the First World War affected not only her, but the nation's lives.

One of the things that determines Testament of Youth different to other bloody, explosive and bullet-ridden war tales is that it is focused on the domestic view of the ones who not only joined the war on the front-line, but also those at home and the consequent effects on loved ones, offering an unseen perspective, and solid-account of the despair that war causes.

Beginning in pre-war 1914, we are introduced to Vera Brittain, a determined and wilful individual with aspirations of not becoming just a traditional young-married women, but one who attends Oxford University and chooses her own life-choices.

Along with her brother Edward (Taron Egerton) and his two friends Victor (Colin Morgan) and Geoffrey (Jonathan Bailey), they all enjoy their youth in the rural village with their parents (Dominic West and Emily Fox). On-the-road to Oxford, she is introduced to her brothers close friend Roland (Kit Harington), and a relationship soon breaks out - but untimely, as does the war.

Quite proud to do so out of loyalty to Queen and country, her brother Edward, and friends Victor and Geoffrey with Roland all sign up to the forces to assist. (Against parental wishes to do so). Now at Oxford, yet unable to focus as this devastation is happening all around her, she joins the forces too, as a nurse - and the film develops from there.

Given a world-premiere at the 58th BFI London Film Festival, the film is squeezed out in time for the Remembrance holidays and by-all accounts award season. Based on our criticism alone, it is going to be praised and remembered at both.

Crafted by former TV-movie director, James Kent, along with the (brilliant) cast, Testament of Youth is a thoroughly engaging history drama in Downton Abbey-esqe war times and a unique approach to the war like never before.


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