The Personal History of David Copperfield

audience Reviews

, 54% Audience Score
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    I went to see this because I like Dev Patel. But this was very disappointing. Very boring unfortunately.
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    I hated this movie so much. Such a waste of such wonderful talent. Was the book really this bad. I had the hardest time not walking out.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is regarded as the one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era and wrote about social injustices, child abuse and city living infusing satire and human observations in his work. David Copperfield was in his own opinion his best work, it was published as a serial between 1849 and 1850 with its first book form appearing in the same year. Because I've read most of the main Dickens works translated into my native tongue (tale of two cities, Oliver Twist, and so on with A Christmas Carol being the only exception) I'm almost limited to the man's story. I am specially incapable of being an ideal person to attest the feel or authenticity of the novel as I haven't read it in any shape or form. With that said David Copperfield starts with a true Dickensian setting, mimicking the reads the author made in theaters across the country. We focus a man reading what appears to be the beginning of the novel, is David Copperfield the hero of his own story? and immediately after this we enter it's life from birth. Right away the setting could have followed all the normal footsteps previously established in a dozen or so films but ....No. With simplicity and elegance director Armando Iannucci sets in just this transition the film's whimsical soul. His highs his lows, friends and foes, mistakes and triumphs we see them all in the bright optimistic light of boy, a struggling teenager with dreams and as an established man with faults. All of this could be done in such a painfully obvious, monotonous and analogous way that follows norms and nothing more but the director uses fresh, exciting and human ways to tell this timeless story. The movie shines also in its interpretations. Done without any use for text or monologues we feel the pain that many people have and don't tell but show. And, a first for me in a current movie, ALL OF THEM are superb, there isn't a bad performance in sight. Tilda Swinton as his aunt, a generous and kind woman whose mind sometimes runs trough her mouth faster than her common sense, Mr. Dick a brilliant, smart and emotionally tuned man towards whom we feel deep empathy has obsessive thoughts about (of all things the head of King Charles the 1st) dulling Himself to the world, Hugh Laurie, mocking, in a way, his Dr. House Role. Peter Capaldi as a permanently in debt man that despite having a kind heart cannot pass any opportunity to get money or food to feed his family. Benedict Wong as an affable banker who's affinity for alcohol runs so wild it has to be disguised by his friends despite the many attempts of his daughter to help him, Rosalind Eleazar showing that strong people also have chinks on their armours. Other great performances are also present Ben Wishaw and Aneurin Barnard as two reflections of what David can become. Morfydd Clark as both his mother and his adult crush in such different characters I never noticed the same actress behind the performance. Daisy May Cooper as the housekeeper of his boyhood presented as a sort of fabled and riddle speaking wise woman; her family who's life is reminiscent of the nursery rhymes such as the old woman living in a shoe. In a scene David tries to relive the memories he had with them but realizes both that time has passed and that things weren't exactly as he has remembered. Finally a performance that is impossible to forget Nikki Amuka-Bird as a domineering mother who's love for his son is blinding her to who his son his as well as what he and she does to others. I mention the names so that moviegoers stay tuned for their next projects but If I left out anyone my apologies. With all of this said what is the movie about well if I am being honest it's about several things. What we do when we grow up looking back on our mistakes and experiences? the baggage doesn't define us and we can experiment with several identities finally finding ourselves pursuing them even if we fail trying? Or are we by force of circumstances doomed to our current state. The movie states categorically that we can arise to be ourself's. Even in our best intentions we will sometimes harm those around us either by ignorance, or when trying to engrandize our feats. The film makes us understand that once we make a mistake what we do to correct it matters, but even in this there are grey areas as some mistakes cannot be mended. Peter Cappaldi's character is a product of a broken system. He has pawned so much he isn't sure he has pawned his own spoons, wears the same suit any where he goes ( one suspects it's his only one) and is forced to become homeless along with his family. A chance for a job that might get him out of the destitute existence is stopped in his tracks simply because he has been jailed before precisely for not being able to pay his debtors. What person would admit to it knowing it would cut any prospect? Even further David is threatened in his school precisely due to his work at a bottling factory, a punishment from his evil stepfather, played with a hint of delight by Darren Boyd, as a strict unimaginative man. Our potential for wrongdoing inhabitants all hearts but we must always keep it in check with our humanity and be honest with what we feel however quirky or strange it might be. The rigidity of values and educations suffers criticism; it's exactly due to David's ability to adapt to harsh circumstances while maintaining the dignity of his feelings without letting they rule his life that makes him conquer and overcome wrongdoings. And though some evil characters might still have power or never be put it in check, it can't and shouldn't stop us from making our life with the best we have and try to fight it as well. It circles all the way back at the beginning can we be our own heros? But more pertinent THE HERO of our life's. What obstacles are truly ours to confront and win? The movie boasts great costumes and sets never going for the panoramic view, given the story it fits like a glove. It's not humble us in the universe but we people in our life's. It's a wonderful piece of entertainment and I recommend it vividly. That said there are a few flaws a boat in a storm feels utterly fake when seen at a distance, at times the emotional insights of Dr. Dick fail purely on the basis of text, and a hint to stress induced dyslexia that runs nowhere are a few. We feel not enough time was spent with some characters, whether this is due to the novel or due to the directors way to conveying the randomness of life (after all we don't choose for people to come they have to want to come) it made me want to read the book even more. The ending seems also a bit lackluster not bad or wrong it's just missing some of the magic we witnessed before. But they are minor corrections in an otherwise great film. I smiled throughout and laughed immensely at some of even the simplest jokes, and the movie is at it's best exactly in that manner the subtext is simmering in the background ready to at any time either ascent us to laughter or to any other emotion passionately
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    Has to be one of the worst movies ever! My husband and I felt sorry for the actors in this abysmal interpretation of a classic work of literature. No plot, no script, poor dialogue, laughable wigs-- absurdly overcrowded with characters who have little to no character development. The movie goes from one weak scene to another, piece-mealing some type of narrative. Can't believe RT gave this a 93% rating- the critics must have been high when watching this or else paid off to give anything higher than a 50%. Poor.
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    Sucky, hammy, and an over-abundance of unconvincing enthusiasm doesn't compensate for its deficiencies. And talk about cultural appropriation run wild, it makes "Hamilton" pale in comparison. What's next -- Lesbian Eskimos in wheelchairs landing at Plymouth Rock? Watching "David Copperfield," -- with its multiracial cast in roles they never filled in that period in Britain -- requires more than a suspension of disbelief, it requires a large bucket to catch your breakfast when it comes up. Feels sort of like watching a revival of "The Mikado".....except in this latest revival the roles will be performed by Ugandans. A suspension of disbelief simply isn't sufficient.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Funny at times. Hmm, set in 1850. Odd cast to represent that period, or is it another politically correct cast?
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Pleasant eccentric characters but a little too manic for me.
  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    Only go if you need a good nap.
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    Soooo boring. I walked out of the movie.
  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    This movie doesn't make you feel that you want to read the novel. It's not fun. My friend slept in the saloon after 30 min. I dont feel that I spent my Tuesday night well.