A compelling tale based on the true story of former World War Two PoW Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) who, as a young British army officer, was forced by the Japanese to work on the notorious Death Railway in Thailand.

Firth delivers a masterly portrayal of stiff-upper-lipped emotional reserve, but his character’s stuffy reticence means that it is all the more powerful when he eventually reveals the depths of hurt left by his harrowing experiences.

Jeremy Irvine matches Firth superbly as the young Lomax, whose wartime ordeal is revealed in flashback, while Nicole Kidman brings warmth and tenderness to the role of Lomax’s second wife and the scene of the couple’s initial meeting on a train briefly – and highly enjoyably – takes the film into romantic comedy territory.

This tale of suffering, survival, reconciliation and redemption may be leisurely, but that restraint makes for riveting viewing as Lomax finally seeks to confront his past.