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Testament Of Youth (2014)...

~Sunday~ I found the title of this movie saved in my iPhone "Notes" file, which means someone I was talking to—at some time, somewhere—recommended it. I thought it was my friend Todd, but he said it wasn't him.

At any rate, watching the trailer, I quickly decided it was "my kind of movie," and naturally after mentioning it to Bob, it came in the mail from Netflix shortly thereafter.

The synopsis

During World War I, Oxford University student Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander) postpones her studies to serve as a nurse while her suitor, her brother, and a secret admirer face death in the trenches.

The trailer




My thoughts and observations

  • I loved this movie.

  • I would have described this film as a "period piece," until I read Godfrey Cheshire's June 5, 2015 review of the film in which he referred to it as a "customer drama." Which, of course, made me wonder what the difference is between those. Here's what I found:
    Period piece: an object or work that is set in or strongly reminiscent of an earlier historical period
    Costume drama: a television or film production set in a particular historical period, in which the actors wear costumes typical of that period
    That seems like a very nuanced difference to me. I guess a period piece wouldn't be a costume piece if the actors didn't wear costumes reminiscent of the time being depicted.That sounds like it would also be a not very good piece.

  • The publication history of the book, Testament of Youth (written from Vera's memoirs) was interesting (also explained in the 2015 Cheshire review): "She first tried writing a novel, which she shelved as a failure, a judgment she also made against a subsequent attempt to make a book by fictionalizing journals and letters." Also, I didn't realize there were two follow-up publications, Testament of Friendship and Testament of Experience, both of which pique my interest.

  • Of course conflict is critical to a good story, and there is no shortage of conflict in this film.

  • Themes touched on in this movie included:
    • A woman's "place" in society
    • Love
    • War
    • Nationalism
    • Unrequited love
    • Family
    • Fathers and daughters
    • Fathers and sons
    • Determination
    • Reliance
    • Tragedy

  • I gave this movie two thumbs up.


Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?
 

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