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Alicia Vikander is outstanding in this superb adaptation of Vera Brittain’s heartbreaking World War One memoir.

She gives a totally involving performance as Vera, who starts off as a starry-eyed young woman with dreams of studying at Oxford University then takes an overwhelming emotional journey as she goes on to witness the horrors of war as a volunteer nurse and experiences the utmost depths of grief as she loses, one by one, the young men dearest to her.

Vikander gets ideal, stiff-upper-lipped support from Kit Harington as her fiancé, Taron Egerton as her brother, Colin Morgan and Jonathan Bailey as their close friends and Emily Watson and Dominic West as her stuffy middle-class parents. while director James Kent brings the story’s contrasting locations – from idyllic Derbyshire countryside to nightmarish trenches  – vividly to life.