The Personal History of David Copperfield (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Armando Iannucci
Distributor: The Searchers
Duration: 119 minutes

The Personal History of David Copperfield (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Great cast, Big Fish-esque vibe
Bad: Even with the spotless inclusion of a multicultural cast the time period of the movie makes it sometimes a bit odd
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

David Copperfield may remind many of the popular illusionist but he is also a character Charles Dickens invented in the 19th century. The movie we’ll be taking a closer look at, is actually based on the latter. This character proved to be very likable because of the ordeals he had to go through to make something of his life. The movie’s subtitle: ‘from rags to riches…  and back again’, is a very nice description of what to expect.

It’s actually quite easy,

yet hard to describe the story of the movie. In this film, we get to see how David Copperfield (Dev Patel) grows up with all the odds stacked against him. While he was born into a family with decent status and wealth, he soon finds himself making glass bottles in a factory, when his evil stepdad (Peter Capaldi) throws him out of the house to get a ‘proper education’. He then also finds himself in the company of his eccentric aunt (Tilda Swinton), who has her own ways of raising and helping David. Overall, the movie is a long chain of events that eventually shows a matured and grown young man.

The flow of the movie is quite enjoyable and relaxing. There is always something to behold, and even with the hardships David is going through, everything is brought in a light-hearted fashion. There is a bit of humor sprinkled in-between, but not the type that will make you laugh out loud, but more the kind that makes you smile during the entire experience. There’s more than enough action, a proper amount of information, but mostly a great evolution of the story and its characters.

Considering the time period Charles Dickens wrote the story, the original tale has a predominantly ‘white’ cast, as people of color were not really accepted into society at that time. The movie, however, mainly has a cast of people of color or from different origins/backgrounds. While, if you know the original work, you may have formed certain pictures in your head about the characters and these will probably not match with the ones in the movie. Nonetheless, even with the not-so-subtle implementation of a multicultural cast, it all feels very natural and very convincing and pleasant. We must commend the director for making this a very believable piece of cinema with this many people of different ethnicities, and straying away from the very ‘in-your-face’ approach many movies are now opting for to be forcefully inclusive.

The cast members are very impressive to behold, ranging from the very appealing stage presence of Dev Patel, to the eccentric behavior of Tilda Swinton. We also see other big names appear such as Hugh Laurie, Benedict Wong, Peter Capaldi, and so on.

As nice as the movie may be, the physical release does not add any additional content other than the actual film. While not that much explanation is needed for how certain scenes were handled, or the flow of the story, it would have perhaps been nice to learn more about this character. Some may actually buy this movie thinking it would revolve around the illusionist who bears the same name. While the chances of this happening are slim, there are enough people that have never read Dickens’ work or know this specific character, apart from the movie they just watched.


The Personal History of David Copperfield is such a pleasant and relaxing experience, even with the depiction of the hardships David goes through. The movie has a certain ‘Big Fish’ vibe to it that makes it ideal to see with friends and loved ones. While not being as imaginative as the aforementioned 2003 Tim Burton film, it hits all the right notes and tugs at your heartstrings at all the appropriate times. We can wholeheartedly recommend this movie, even though it’s a shame nothing in terms of extra content can be found on the Blu-ray edition.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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The Personal History of David Copperfield (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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  1. […] help but roll your eyes throughout the entire experience. When looking at other films such as The Personal History of David Copperfield where inclusion was handled perfectly, The Craft: Legacy feels like a project of someone who is […]

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