Testament of Youth
Vera Brittain's infamous autobiography finally gets a feature length film (it was adapted into a mini-series in 1979), and a good one at that. Alicia Vikander plays Brittain, a young British woman angrily trying to convince her father (Dominic West) and mother (Emily Watson) that it is totally appropriate for her to go to Oxford and become a writer rather than just getting married. World War I commences and throws all of their lives into turmoil, including her brother Edward (Taron Egerton), family friend Victor (Colin Morgan) and her boyfriend, Roland (Kit Harington). The film effectively shows how many young men regarded the big war as no big deal, something where they wouldn't even serve in active duty. Many men signed up, and many men died in trench warfare that went on for over four years. Vikander delivers the film's greatest performance as a young woman who finds herself in the thick of things as a nurse, putting her writing career on hold. The film gets a little longwinded at times, but Vikander remains interesting and powerful throughout. The movie is a good record of how WWI forever changed the world set the stage for future wars.