The Personal History of David Copperfield

Published September 5, 2020

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Film info

  • Title The Personal History of David Copperfield
  • Director Armando Iannucci
  • Year 2019
  • Run time 1hr 59m
  • Genres Comedy, Drama
  • Tagline From rags to riches... and back again

From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all.

Live blog

Time Comment
3:36 Love Tilda so much. I don’t know enough.
6:10 “Nope, I tell you, a crocodile is a potato.” This is a fun world.
9:45 That boat house is amazing!!
18:56 Ye olde factories are properly terrifying.
22:13 Often think Peter Capaldi was born in the wrong century.
29:00 What is up with the guy who just repeats things? Very annoying.
38:45 I’m sort of at a point of… what is happening?
42:17 “Hello, I’m Mr Dick, I’m very partial to gingerbread.”
45:45 There are a LOT of famous people in this!
59:45 Is Micawber harmless though?
1:03:37 Look at the size of that cake!
1:08:41 Aw, Agnes is lovely.
1:18:06 “Mr Wickfield can’t fully explain why, but the money is gone.” Oof.
1:25:00 “I hope you like the boathouse.” How could you not? Even its dull form it’s amazing.
1:30:47 There are some clever moments in this, the video playing on the curtain.
1:34:26 “Segment?”
1:46:37 “May I hold your pens?” That’s cute.
1:56:41 Nice closing credits.


This was sort of on my list, but then I heard Radio 1’s Ali Plumb talking it up and bumped it up my list. I wasn’t all that convinced, to be honest. Mr C gave up after the twenty minute rule, but I stuck with it and got to the end.

The problem is, it feels like it’s trying so hard to be quirky that you don’t really get any time to bond with the characters - even David himself, who we spend more time with than any of the other vast array of characters, sort of feels distant. I don’t really know what motivates him or why he chooses the things he does.

It’s all very fast-paced and a whirlwind of colour and accents, and by the end of it nothing stands out other than a banging headache.

Rating: 1 / 5

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