The film's inferno of horrors are undoubtedly visceral, but psychologically implosive rather than entrails-exploding.
Stream Testament of Youth
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
A beautifully acted but disappointingly stiff period drama.
The men are slightly forgettable, but the woman is not. Far from the flawless fembot in “Ex Machina,” Vikander’s slight gawkiness is highlighted here, allowing her to look like a real girl, absolutely the right decision by Kent.
Kent, who gathers a cast of extremely bright young things, creates a drama that glides with sorrowful grace, pitching at a respectful and tear-inducing tone.
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), simultaneously poignant and powerful as Vera Brittain, the writer who fought her way into Oxford then chucked that to go to the front as a nurse, gives another indelible performance.
Never, for one second, is Vikander anything less than entirely truthful.
It’s a quiet, thoughtful and handsomely mounted film, offering another plum role to Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) as Brittain. Vikander and the film take Britain, and Brittain, from idealism and hope to grim reality and regret.
Vikander brings fresh emotional weight to the familiar scenario of WW1 grief, ensuring that this mostly avoids the traps of dull, dutiful heritage cinema.
As a film, Testament of Youth glimmers with sadness, but also the apprehension of sadness: we know not all of these boys are coming back.
There are familiar moments in Vera Brittain’s stirring story, though the Kent's craft and Vikander’s exquisite talent will ensure that the author’s memories live in the minds of a fresh generation...