An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterizations to bring to life one of Dickens’ most cherished characters in THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD. From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all. The film stars Dev Patel in the title role alongside a wealth of British talent including Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw and Paul Whitehouse.


Your enjoyment of “The Personal History Of David Copperfield” will more than likely be based on your like of Charles Dickens because, if like me you have no interest in his books – or the movies they spawned – director Armando Iannucci’s movies going to be a long hard watch for you.

Peppered with various characters from his famous books with in-jokes and references to Dickens work Iannucci’s relies on his audience having some background knowledge of the famous author in order for them to be fully immersed in his story.

“The Personal History Of David Copperfield” is without doubt an acquired taste and if you’re a fan of Dickens, with its multitude of nods to his work, then there’s a lot for you to enjoy in Iannucci’s movie. On the plus side the cast are all excellent and the movie looks fantastic, however if like me the thought of watching “Little Dorrit”, or anything else from Charles Dickens, brings you out in a cold sweat then “The Personal History Of David Copperfield” might not be for you.

3/5 or 4/5 if you like Charles Dickens

The Personal History Of David Copperfield (PG)

1h 59m

Director: Armando Iannucci Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Gwendoline Christie

UK Release: 24th January 2020
US Release: 8th May 2020


The Personal History Of David Copperfield - Featurette