The Personal History of David Copperfield Reviews

December 30, 2020
Despite all its excellent performances, the film doesn't quite deliver as a lightheaded yet heartwarming take on a classic tale.
November 27, 2020
This disappointment relies on far too many gimmicks in an effort to put a distinctive turn on Dickens' classic novel and falls flat at every turn.
October 7, 2020
Iannucci still hasn't figured out how to move effective melancholy into his milieu. At least he's trying something different than the endless "Emmas" and perpetual "Pride & Prejudices." A swing-and-a-miss that leaves a refreshing, cool breeze.
October 7, 2020
This latest adaptation of the book presented a screenplay that did not try hard enough to be Dickensian and, alas, was not Dickensian enough.
October 5, 2020
Feels both much too long and much too short at the same time.
September 14, 2020
Turning his story into a Gilliamesque oddity might have looked good on paper, but in aiming for awkward reinvention, this literary adaptation topples under the weight of its lead-footed whimsy.
September 5, 2020
Shockingly disappointing... I think [director Armando Ianucci's] sensibilities are not quite suited to doing Dickens.
September 2, 2020
The film looks great, has good performances by the cast, but never stirs much interest in its story. A good effort that never reaches its entertainment goal.
August 28, 2020
I wanted to embrace this one for its bright spirit... Truth be told, though, the film, which Mr. Iannucci directed from a screenplay he wrote with Simon Blackwell, is blissed out on its own cleverness and ultimately exhausting.
August 27, 2020
Iannucci's adaptation is a tiresome exercise in style over substance, experimental casting over narrative maturity, and farcical indulgences over genuine emotion.
August 27, 2020
Copperfield's bright, cheery, generous spirit is not a language Iannucci speaks, and he stumbles through the material like a half-prepared student attempting to translate a text in a language he has barely studied enough to order a meal.
August 27, 2020
This "David Copperfield" constantly feels like the novel's "greatest hits" are being wedged into the two-hour running time, and it compromises both the audience and the book's characters.
August 27, 2020
It's easy to get hopelessly lost amid the barrage of plodding plot developments.
August 24, 2020
...Dickens as farce.
July 2, 2020
Why does this allegedly hip, progressive makeover of David Copperfield compare so poorly against the 1935 George Cukor film? Director Armando Iannucci had an 85-year advantage yet still can't manage to bring much snap or drive to Dickens' grand old story.
February 20, 2020
It looks lovely, it's well acted and it's genuinely funny. It's also very rushed, has a weak script and loses most of the original stories heart.
January 26, 2020
The film co-opts novelistic tactics for little discernible rhetorical or emotional effect.
January 22, 2020
If one scene could capture the whole movie, it would be Patel emerging from the Trotwood residence laden with pots and pans, bellowing and clattering to scare a passing donkey. We are all that donkey.
September 8, 2019
But while the act of gracefully condensing this big book into a coherent movie is indeed impressive, the truth is that said movie does end up feeling a bit like glorified cliff's notes, albeit ones enlivened by Iannucci's gift for volleying banter.
September 7, 2019
Where a film like Love and Friendship excels at this because it allows its characters to know they're despicable, Iannucci wants us to believe his remain good. That incongruity threw endearment straight out the window.