So dull, so respectable, so full of nice touches and pretty things: Testament of Youth seems like just the kind of film the real Vera Brittain would have no patience for. Produced in a well-mannered and fully costumed way by BBC Films, this is an adaptation of Brittain’s celebrated 1933 memoir. We follow Vera (Alicia Vikander), a feisty and brainy young woman, as she rebels against her family’s ideas of pre-suffrage femininity and enrolls at Oxford, hoping to become a writer. Her education coincides with the beginning of World War I; her brother Edward (Taron Egerton), her beau Roland (Kit Harington), and two close friends ship off to the front. Vera suspends her study to serve as a nurse near the trenches.