, ,

Expertly merging the lofty romantic notions we’ve come to expect from stories of lovers blown apart by the winds of war, veteran television director James Kent (9/11: Phone Calls from the Towers, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister) captures the literary nuances likely infused in the autobiography of Vera Brittain.

Portrayed by Alicia Vikander, Brittain is a young woman who endured the loss of family, friends and her fiancé during World War I, while also attempting to navigate her own life’s journey towards becoming an educated and independent woman and writer. Fiercely independent, Brittain also remains a recognizable woman of her times, torn by an undeniable duty to family and country, but with an unwavering sense of her own interconnected humanity. Vikander, last seen in Ex Machina, perfectly embodies all of these complex traits without allowing the performance to disintegrate into mere histrionics. (PG-13) Grade: B