• Strictly Films

The Personal History of David Copperfield; Grade: B-

The Personal History of David Copperfield, is based off of an acclaimed classic tale from Charles Dickens, not to be confused with legendary magician David Copperfield. Tells a life story of David Copperfield (Dev Patel) from when he was a small unfortunate child, to a humbled young man that strived for a life of triumph. Copperfield is a man whom is extremely kind and has a bright imagination, as we follow him through a delightful adventure of his life through imagination and love.


Quick apology for this review being a week late from the last time I’ve seen it, as said before been busy.


The Cinematography was one of the main highlights of this film, this a lovely looking film, that captures the bright imagination David Copperfield has in his mind. Really enjoyed the set pieces, they’r very bright, colorful, and fun. I do believe this film could end up being nominated for Best Production Design and also Best Costume Design, loved the costumes all looked authentic during the time period of this film. The Score was charming and delightful. The cast all in all were solid as a whole. Dev Patel playing David Copperfield had a solid performance, full of wonder, charm, and charisma just like the characters description. This was honestly supposed to be Dev’s breakout year along with this film and A24’s The Green Knight, but unfortunately that Covid-19 ruin the hype Dev was bound to get.


This was honestly my most anticipated theatrical release in August, regarding the return of films at the theaters. Not only did this film look wonderful, but was made by the same film maker that brought us one of my favorite comedies The Death of Stalin.


There’s a fair amount to admire from this film, but substance wise... Wasn’t necessarily feeling it. The story isn’t bad by any means, there’s some solid emotional moments and a few well put comedic moments. I guess I just didn’t quite connect what was going on per say, Charles Dickens comes from an era in which writers were more advanced than today’s time period, so that maybe why I tend to struggle comprehending what I’m watching. The dialogue matches well with Dickens, as it’s very strong in the English language, although when presented after a week has gone by, I can’t seem to recollect much of it. This is definitely a film more aimed for matured children and adults, the PG rating is justified however children whom haven’t developed much thought will be completely lost while watching. For a follow up from film maker Armando Iannucci, may not be as great as The Death of Stalin, but from a genre change... There is still much to appreciate and like out of this film.


Overall, The Personal History of David Copperfield is a fairly decent film. I recommend checking this out, it’s a nice time at the movies indeed. -Mitch Smietana

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