The Personal History of David Copperfield
"London is full of more wonders and wickedness than all the cities of the Earth." That utterance embodies the work of Iannucci's "The Personal History of David Copperfield." The wonders are the colorblind casting (Dev Patel as the titular character) and some other people of color getting to don colorful costumes and share in the highs and lows in the life of Copperfield.
This Charles Dickens classic is close to two hours long, but you do get the feeling you are missing much from the original text. But good dialogue, sumptuous pastoral scenes, and the filth of the near destitute still make it a perfectly satisfying feast. That's due in part to the traditional Dickensian cruelty and kindness delivered by a fine lot of actors. "A fair choice. I regret I missed the wedding and the chance to meet you at the peak of your beauty," utters Gwendoline Christie as Jane Murdstone somewhat complimenting her new sister-in-law with just the right amount of snark. Tilda Swinton is sometimes over the top as Aunt Betsey, but even an over the top Tilda is a delight to watch. And Patel is perfectly solid as the likable Copperfield. Hugh Laurie, Benedict Wong, Ben Whishaw, and a very good Nikki Amuka-Bird also star.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars