Testament of Youth, BFI London Film Festival – film review
Stunningly good rising star Alicia Vikander makes this a desperately moving war tale
Published: 14 October 2014
Updated: 13:13, 15 October 2014
Vera Brittain’s 1933 memoir of her early days and her experiences of bereavement and feminist struggle during the First World War could so easily have been turned into yet another stuffy period drama, improving little on the 1979 BBC version.
Cheryl Campbell was notably good in that — and as Rosie Alison, the producer of this new adaptation says, it’s a film that lives or dies by finding the right actress to play Vera.
It lives. Alicia Vikander, a 26-year-old Swedish actress, is stunningly good. She looks remarkably like the photographs of the young Brittain, yet at the same time she stands out as an exotic beauty every moment she is on screen, even when surrounded by the youthful lookers playing the men in her life — Kit Harington as her fiancé Roland Leighton, Colin Morgan as Victor Richardson who loves her no less, and Taron Egerton as her brother Edward.
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