Liverpudlian writer-director Terence Davies explores the horror of the First World War through the eyes of one of England’s great poets in a melancholic drama nominated for two prizes at last year’s British Independent Film Awards.

As a soldier, Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden) is decorated for his bravery on the battlefield.

However, the loss of young lives haunts Sassoon and he openly disobeys orders to become a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the conflict.


Faced with a possible court marital that would besmirch the family name, Sassoon accepts the advice of his friend Robbie Ross (Simon Russell Beale) and is moved to a military psychiatric hospital, where his behaviour is dismissed as a nervous breakdown.

Far from home, he meets Wilfred Owen (Matthew Tennyson) and becomes a mentor to the young wordsmith.

Sassoon struggles to come to terms with his homosexuality and he fosters potentially damaging relationships with figures from London’s glittering literary and theatre scene including Ivor Novello (Jeremy Irvine) and Stephen Tennant (Calam Lynch).