Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of August 25, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of August 24, 2020

The Personal History of David Copperfield
Rated PG for thematic material and brief violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
In Theaters

So I only thought I knew Dickens. Upon thinking back, I have never read the novel or seen any of the seemingly dozens of film and television adaptations that have been popping up since the dawn of film. The story, based on the classic book “The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery” by Charles Dickens, follows the life of a little boy who goes on his journey to manhood through fun adventures and horrible struggles, from having money and love, to losing everything and being sold into childhood labor, to rising above it all and finding romance. And in this new version, all is done in grand fashion. Writer/Director Armando Iannucci (creator of Veep, Avenue 5 and 2018’s brilliant The Death of Stalin) is the star of the show, even with an immensely talented cast. Due to the masterful writing and directing, the film turns out to be a vibrant, punchy and charming comedy with huge laughs and a great heart. Before watching this, I could only imagine stuffy performances by a heavily-accented white English cast. But in full Hamilton mode here – the cast is blaringly multicultural with the handsome Dev Patel in the lead role. And the typically stuffy English types are instead played by a fabulously eclectic gang including Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi and Tilda Swinton. Just as in Ianucci’s other works, this is some seriously great ensemble storytelling where the multitude of interesting characters and their individual stories only help to bring the main tale to life, rather than detracting from it. As a final note – this makes for a terrific family film, and it happens to be the only new family film in theaters, for those in the need of braving the experience. Your kids might not be begging to go see it, but I would almost guarantee that the entire family, from young to old, will have a great time watching. And you might just end up with some new Dickens fans in your house. A