A modern spin on a timeworn classic that’s just what 2020 needed.
Best known for his scathingly brilliant satires (In The Loop, The Death of Stalin), writer-director Armando Iannucci tries his hand at a literary adaption. It would have been so very easy to write off this film, chronicling the life of David Copperfield (excellently played by Dev Patel), as yet another yawn-inducing Dickens adaptation you might find playing as background noise on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Not so, as Iannucci dodges the Victorian slog-to-be and has instead imbued this period comedy-drama with warmth, wit and a fantastical spin on the traditional narration, whilst managing to stay true to the original novel. It’s a deft balancing act that makes it a story about storytelling itself, and which allows Iannucci’s film to stand tall as its own entity. The film benefits in no small part from its stunning ensemble cast, a veritable who’s-who of British greats that includes Tilda Swinton, Ben Wishaw, Peter Capaldi and a standout Hugh Laurie, each of whom bring fresh energy to the director’s modern spin on a timeworn classic. Don’t miss out on the heart-filled panacea 2020 so desperately needed.
The Personal History Of David Copperfield / Directed by: Armando Iannucci (UK 2020), with Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi. Starts September 24.