Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Thoughts on Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth
2014
Set during World War I
link to the soundtrack

I'd heard good things about this one, and I was not disappointed. Testament of Youth is a movie to be experienced not exactly enjoyed.

It is based on Vera Brittain's autobiography. The movie opens with Vera, her brother Edward, and two houseguests--her brothers' friends--Victor and Roland all enjoying each other's company.

Vera has big, big dreams: to study at Oxford. Her immediate ambitions include university NOT marriage. So falling in love with Roland was not exactly in her plans. But the more time she spends with Roland, the more it's feeling like it could very well be love.

The good news is that Vera is accepted into Oxford. The bad news? The good news is essentially interrupted by really bad news--the WAR. Her brother, Roland, and Victor all go away to war. She tries her best to study, but, soon finds herself too distracted to continue on with her dreams since her brother is so far away from fulfilling his. She decides to become a nurse.

Most of the movie is about her experiences during the war. Her experiences as a sister fearing for her brother. Her experiences as a girlfriend and fiancee. Her anxiety and broken-heart. There's a super tragic scene that involves her in a wedding dress and a phone call. Her experiences as a daughter--how to balance doing her part for the war effort and maintaining her own sanity of sorts, and taking care of her parents. Her experiences as a nurse. All of these 'experiences' are intense. One isn't exactly more important than the others.

The movie stars Alicia Vikander as Vera. She did a WONDERFUL job. Taron Egerton stars as her brother Edward. Colin Morgan stars as the adorable Victor. And Kit Harington as Roland. Emily Watson stars as her mother, and Dominic West stars as her father.

Do expect emotion and drama. Don't expect happily ever afters.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Joy Weese Moll 9:52 AM  

Testament of Youth had such beautiful scenes, even when they weren't happy.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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