One of the brightest highlights of the London Film Festival was Testament of Youth, the adaptation of Vera Brittain’s memoir about the “lost generation” that lost their lives and their innocence to World War I.
The gorgeous, romantic period drama looks very much like what a film dedicated to Sibyl on Downton Abbey (with shades of Edith) might look like. Brittain (played by Alicia Vikander) is a headstrong aristocratic girl determined to become a writer against her father’s wishes. When she finally meets a man worth loving (who supports her literary ambitions), he — along with her brother — is called to the trenches, while Brittain herself joins the war effort as a nurse. Given the colossal number of fatalities in World War I, tragedy can’t help but ensue.
Emily Watson co-stars as Brittain’s mother. The script is by Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls).
Testament of Youth opens on January 16 in the UK. No American release date has yet been announced.