A delightfully Armando Iannucci-fied take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, The Personal History of David Copperfield tackles 19th century England’s class system and societal struggles through the eyes and words of one man who walks the line between the lower, upper and middle classes.
Dev Patel leads a stellar British cast in the titular role, but it’s Ben Whishaw, as far removed from Paddington as you could imagine, who stands out as the snakey Uriah Heep, as well as the hard-edged but kind-spirited Betsey Trotwood (played by Tilda Swinton).
While it lacks the bite often associated with Iannucci’s work (the PG rating limiting Peter Capaldi’s f-bombs to zero) – in fact at times bordering on saccharine – it packs in more than enough of his patented wit to make up for it. Quick on its feet and zippily edited, this is a charming, fresh spin on one of Dickens’ most beloved tales.
Rating (out of 5):