In ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ Dev Patel shines


Searchlight Pictures presents “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” opening in limited release on August 28.

This film re-imagines Charles Dickens’ classic ode to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers— giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors from across the world. Emmy® winners and Oscar® nominees Armando Iannucci (“In The Loop” and “The Death of Stalin”), among others, and Simon Blackwell (HBO’s“Succession”) lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.

The film stars Oscar nominee Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire” and “Lion”) in the title role and features: Aneurin Barnard, Peter Capaldi, Morfydd Clark, Daisy May Cooper, Rosalind Eleazar, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Welsh and Benedict Wong.

A lifelong fan of Charles Dickens, director Iannucci had a creative spark a few years ago while re-reading the author’s acclaimed eighth novel, David Copperfield, which was first published in 1850. “I thought, ‘I want to make this as a movie,’” says Iannucci. “It felt so contemporary, but also because the past adaptations I’ve seen are all so serious and centered on the drama and the plot. There is a lot of plot and drama, but to me those are the least interesting things about the story.”

“The hilarious scenes in the book,” says Iannucci, “were the most exciting to explore.  There are moments of almost slapstick comedy, like when David joins the law firm and must negotiate his way around the creaking floorboards or getting drunk for the first time. And when he falls in love with Dora and imagines seeing her face everywhere, even in the clouds. It’s a very surreal, yet very real book. I wanted to get that across in the movie.”

Take a look:

As some theatres are re-opening, check local listings.

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