Ever since Eddie Edwards was a child (Tom Costello Jr.), he desperately wanted to be an Olympic athlete, despite health challenges and the nonstop criticism of naysayers, including his own father (Keith Allen). But Eddie was not deterred by these obstacles; he was determined to see his dream realized, especially when his health improved as a teen (Jack Costello). He tried his hand at many sports, though not with much success, prompting even more ridicule from virtually everyone except his mother (Jo Hartley). He seemed reconciled to spend his life working as a plasterer like his dad – that is, until he discovered winter sports.
During a time of shifts in public opinion and social values, it can be difficult to maintain the status quo, especially among those who are helping to drive those forces of change. So it was in 1914 England with Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander), a headstrong, self-assured, independent thinker with aspirations far different from those of most women at the time. Rather than be relegated to a life of conventional marriage and homemaking, for example, Vera fought for the right to apply to Oxford to earn her college degree and become a writer, much to the consternation of her parents (Dominic West, Emily Watson). What’s more, despite the subtle matchmaking attempts of Vera’s brother, Edward (Taron Egerton), to fix her up with his friend Victor (Colin Morgan), the idealistic young nonconformist resisted these efforts, insisting that she preferred to live her life without a husband. Clearly, Vera was a force to be reckoned with.