"Does it Get Any Better Than Cake?"

Have you ever watched a movie that made you hug a pillow to your chest the entire viewing time because you can't even handle all the emotions you're feeling?  Have you ever watched a movie that made you squeal, cry, and talk to the characters on the screen, hoping your desperate plea for their life will save them?


... I'm not the only one, right?!


Well, I just recently watched a WWI drama that has skyrocketed to the top of my all time favorite historical films. I'm so happy that I came across a post by Naomi Bennet over at Wonderland Creek in which she wrote a pre-gushing blog post about a movie titled, Testament of Youth. Just by the pictures/synopsis of the movie, I immediately wanted to watch it, and felt sure I was going to love it.


Yup. I was right.


I am indebted to you, Naomi!!


The movie is based on Vera Brittain's memoir of her experiences of WWI, and the movie is produced by the same people who made The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This film was destined for greatness, just by those two elements. But let me warn you ... this film is gonna make you sob. It's rated PG-13 for blood and violence, but there's nothing overly disturbing in it. I think it's fine for my 11 year old sister to watch. The romance is extremely sweet and clean, unless you don't like kissing in movies. No swear words as far as I can remember. I'm very pleased with how family friendly it is!

The story follows the life of Vera Brittain, a young woman from a high class family in England who longs to study at Oxford and become a writer, while her parents wish for her to be married.



She's very close with her younger brother, Edward, and becomes good friends with his school chums, Roland and Victor.


She starts to fall in love with Roland, who encourages Vera in her dream of becoming a writer.


Roland: "You must write. Really."


Vera: "No one's ever said that to me before."


There were some funny scenes when Vera and Roland were on outings together with their chaperone. They were trying to hold hands and sit next to each other, but the chaperone kept squeezing right between them!



Just as Vera's accepted into Oxford and begins her studies, WWI breaks out, and her world is turned upside down. One by the one the boys march off to war, including Edward, Roland, and Victor.


This is an actual photograph of them. Roland is in the center, Edward is on the left, and school friend, Victor, is on the right.



From the movie: Roland on left, Victor in middle, and Edward on right.


Mrs. Brittain is played by Emily Watson. She's been in so many good movies ... War Horse, The Book Thief, and Miss Potter. I was excited to see she was in this one, too!


Vera, holding a letter: "It's from Oxford."
Mrs. Brittain: "Oh! I thought it was from a boy!"


I absolutely loved the brother/sister relationship! It was really sweet. =)


Here's Edward ... all grown up and saving China ... actually, England.


When Roland comes home on leave, he's changed by the war. He doesn't talk to Vera. He's angry and freighted by what he's witnessed in the trenches.



Vera reminds him that he still has a heart, and to not destroy it.


He proposes to her, asking her to marry him on his next leave. They talk about the wedding ... the gown, the people, the food.

Vera: "And cake!"
Roland: "Does it get any better than cake?!"


Vera decides to give up her studies at Oxford and become a nurse, and she later serves on the front. She actually gets assigned to help a cabin of German soldiers. She can speak German, and realizes they aren't just a faceless, cruel enemy. They feel the same pain her boys are feeling. They have families waiting for them, too.


The real Vera:



This movie did not end like I thought it would. It's based on real life, a real war, and real people, so don't expect it to end well. Grab some tissues. Like, a lot.


They'll want to forget you. They'll want me to forget. But I can't. I won't. This is my promise to you now. All of you.



If for some reason you're still not convinced, watch the trailer. You'll get goosebumps.


Have you ever seen Testament of Youth?

-Emily

P.S. I found it online HERE for free ... I'm not sure how long the website will keep it up, but last I checked it's still there! WATCH IT!!!!!!

21 comments

  1. That looks so good! And so sad. I don't know if I'll be able to drag my brother into watching it. I barely got him to sit down for The Book Thief, and Sophie Scholl. And this one's a kissing movie.

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    1. It is SO GOOD!! But it is more of a girl movie. =)

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  2. OH MY GOODNESS. JUST STOP IT, EMILY. :-O :-O

    Your review was absolutely beautiful and has seriously just made me crazy with impatience. I'm soooo happy it's more family-friendly than you thought! And I'm so happy it's as good as I think it is!!!! I'M JUST IN LOVE WITH THIS MOVIE. :-D

    I'm praying and hoping that website still has the movie by Saturday... HOPING DESPERATELY.

    Thanks for the great review! You have a lovely blog. :-)
    ~ Naomi

    P.S. It's Bennet with one T, by the way. ;-P

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    1. I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH. Thank you for sharing about it on your blog!!!

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  3. I saw this movie in my Pinterest feed via yours! And it looked so good, but I wanted to know more (from a Christian perspective) before I went ahead and watched it. Thanks for reviewing it here... It sounds so good - and I love bittersweet endings (like in Miss Potter!), so I think I may really love this one, too.

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    1. I think you'll really like it! It's heart wrenching, but so good!!

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  4. I think I need to see this movie. WWI. Emily Watson. Gorgeous visuals. Incredible trailer. Yeah, I need to see it. Thank you for your review! I had heard a little bit about it a few months back but had no idea if it was good or not.

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    1. Yes! You should watch it! I definitely recommend it!! It's so sad ... but so, so good.

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  5. Ohmygosh! I've just recovered from The Book Thief and now this?! I really want to watch it!! *sniffles* based on your review I was already tearing up because you know.. war films and the sadness of them. *opens new tab and watches trailer and tries not to cry*
    Wow! This film I am SO watching! :-)

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    1. It's gonna make you cry, but you should definitely watch it!!

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    2. he..heh..he..heh... I went through a box of tissues...

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  6. Oh my word! I have never heard of this movie before, but I am in love from the trailer alone! Must watch ASAP!

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    1. Isn't the trailer amazing?! The movie is even better! =)

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  7. OH my gosh I need to watch this movie soon. During my convalesence from my surgery. GAH this looks amazing!
    What role does Hayley Atwell play? I may or may not have a wee little girl-crush on her. ;)

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    1. It's a fantastic and heart breaking film! I think you'll enjoy it! I'll be praying for a successful surgery and recovering for you, Meghan. I actually don't even know who Hayley Atwell is! I looked her up and she plays a nurse. =)

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  8. Okay, this looks like a GREAT movie. Emily, I had never even heard of it until now! Thanks for telling us about it.

    (the fact that Colin Morgan is in it is a big plus. I love him!)

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    1. You're welcome!! It was too great not to share! =)

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  9. Just watched this last night through your link. Such a good movie! Just, rather emotionally draining. :'(

    Thank you for sharing the link/review!

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    1. Yay!! Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it is rather emotionally draining. I was so not prepared for the ending. AHHHH!!!

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  10. ColinMorganColinMorganColinMorgan. And Hayley Atwell! (She was in Captain America and the live-action Cinderella.) Agh. I can't wait to watch this!! (And that GIF sums up my feels about a lot of things haha! Like Newsies. And Resist.)

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    1. YOU MUST WATCH IT!! Then we can sob together. =)

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