Based on the novel by Charles Dickens… one i will admit to be not THAT familiar with.
So don’t expect me to compare it to the many other film or TV adaptations of the story, i simply can’t and won’t. But i will describe the basic plot, just in case.
Starting at the end, the movie has David Copperfield chronicle his life, from his brief moment of idyllic joy visiting the family of his nanny at their bout house in Yarmouth, to her moment remarring to a a cruel man who exiles him to London, making him work at his factory, and meeting many colorful characters that live in similar if not more crushing and dismaying poverty. After hearing of his mother’s death and funeral, he escapes from the dismal life at the factory to his eccentric aunt, and her even more eccentric lodger, flip-flopping between the wealth of the “gentlemen’s lifestyle” and his past miseries coming back to him.
So, i saw “The Personal Life Of David Copperfield” yesterday… and it was good. Perfect casting, amazing performances, the characters are charming and memorable, it gets a good balance between the whimsical positive attititude and the abject squallor of the poor in victorian London (as you would expect), and the themes of class conflict still work, even with the whimsical tone and the over the top characters.
Quite funny, but at times its so enamored with his “british comedy wit” that comes off as a bit grating. Still charming, absolutely, but a bit grating and self-indulgent, even if it’s deliberately done. That said, it’s a good one from director Armando Iannucci, i’d say. Not great, but good.
I really don’t know how it stacks up against the other film adaptations of the tale, but in its own, i’d recommend it.