Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth, the famed memoir of the author's time as a nurse during World War I, is now a major motion picture perfectly poised for summer. Leave it to David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter films, to put this book on screen.
The movie follows "little boy's" path to faith and shows how it affects the entire town. This is done in a way that is not maudlin, but heart-warming. If it causes tears to flow, well that is the nature of the circumstances, and not a cheap way to wrest emotion from the audience.
Is it possible that all the lessons of World War II have been learned and there are no new stories left to tell? And does this explain The Book Thief, which follows an orphaned girl in a World War II-era German village, feels so mawkish and unnecessary?
This is a film about a child's survival during the Holocaust. To say this film is dated is to deny the suffering of all during WWII. Based on the bestselling novel by Marcus Zusak, it was filmed in Berlin and has an authentic amber glow of old Germany.
British children may have been promised oranges and sunshine as they were deported to Australia in the '60's and '70's in a scandalous child trafficking operation affecting some 130,000 kids, but that is hardly what they found there.
Since it's V-Day, I want to return to the exalting, superb Punch-Drunk Love, which remains one of the most romantic movies of the last 10 years. I was baffled by its mixed reception and wonder if it remains misunderstood to this day.