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The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Personal History of David Copperfield
  • PG
  • 1h 59m
  • 2020
Certified Fresh92%
Common Sense Media Iconage 10+
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Dev Patel leads an ensemble cast of talented stage and screen actors from across the world in this lavish, tongue-in-cheek reimagining from Searchlight Pictures of Charles Dickens’ classic story. After suffering through his earlier life as an impoverished orphan, things take an intriguing turn for David Copperfield (Patel) when he meets up with his outrageous, well-to-do aunt Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton). Following a new trajectory, Copperfield embraces danger, treachery, romance, and ultimately the chance to shine as a writer in Victorian England. Directed by Armando Iannucci with a screenplay by Iannucci and Simon Blackwell based on Dickens’ novel, The Personal History of David Copperfield also stars Aneurin Barnard, Peter Capaldi, Morfydd Clark, Daisy May Cooper, Rosalind Eleazar, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw and Paul Whitehouse.
© 2019 Dickensian Pictures, LLC and Channel Four Television Corporation.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh92%
Critics Consensus: The Personal History of David Copperfield puts a fresh, funny, and utterly charming spin on Dickens' classic, proving some stories truly are timeless.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 10+
Common Sense Says
Dickens' classic retold with comedic style; some violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Personal History of David Copperfield is a brilliantly funny retelling of the classic Charles Dickens novel. Though the movie is largely comedic, there are moments of violence -- although even they are often played for laughs. In one scene, a young David Copperfield (Ranveer Jaiswal) is beaten by his stepfather, Mr. Murdstone (Darren Boyd) -- a character whose cruelty extends to informing Copperfield of his mother's death only after her funeral. In another scene, Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton) and Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw) repeatedly slap each other across the face before an older Copperfield (Dev Patel) punches Heep to the floor. While at sea during a vicious storm, a character falls from his boat and drowns. His body is seen laid out on the shore. There's some depiction of being unhoused, with Mr. Micawber (Peter Capaldi) and his family evicted from their home. Characters drink regularly, and Mr. Wickfield (Benedict Wong) is portrayed as being dependent on alcohol. Director Armando Iannucci's "color blind" approach to casting means that this take on the classic story is far more diverse than those that have come before. Several characters aspire to climb in social class, which sometimes leads to them acting deceitfully -- and, in one case, illegally. But the overall messages are of generosity, friendship, family, and recognizing what's really important in life.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Comedy, Drama
  • Release Date:August 28, 2020
  • Languages:English, Spanish
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
If purchased in:4K
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