Watch the trailer for Testament of Youth, an upcoming adaptation of the classic First World War memoir. Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) stars as Vera Brittain, a free-minded young woman who wins a scholarship to Oxford. There she falls in love with her brother’s friend, Roland Leighton, played by Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington. Alas, the First World War arrives, dragging them all into tragedy and heartbreak. The Testament of Youth trailer provides a look at what seems to be a moving film, with a decent cast, including Hayley Atwell, Dominic West, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson, adding to our interest. It certainly looks like a weepy one, which we’re more than up for if the cheese is kept to a minimum.
Those that have read Vera Brittain’s memoirs will know of how the story plays out, but those that haven’t should be aware that the synopsis below the trailer does contain spoilers.
Official synopsis for Testament of Youth:
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH is a searing story of love and war. Based on the classic First World War memoir, this is the incredible true story of one young woman’s struggle to survive the horrors of war, which robbed her of everyone and everything she held dear, but was ultimately unable to break her extraordinary spirit.
Vera Brittain, irrepressible, intelligent and free-minded, overcomes the prejudices of her family and hometown to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live for, she falls in love with her brother’s close friend Roland Leighton as they go to University to pursue their literary dreams. But the First World War is looming and as the boys leave for the front Vera realises she cannot sit idly by as her peers fight for their country, so volunteers as a nurse. She works tirelessly, experiencing all the grief of war, as one by one her fiancé, her brother and their closest friends are all killed and the pillars of her world shattered. But, an indefatigable spirit, Vera endures and returns to Oxford, irrevocably changed, yet determined to create a world in which such a war can never take place again.
ETA: UK – 2 January, 2015.