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The Personal History of David Copperfield

Dev Patel stars as the adult David Copperfield, and the film follows the life of David from his earliest and privileged years to his years working literally as a child slave in a bottle factory and the through young adulthood. The film was fun and funny; Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton as his Aunt Trotwood, and Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick create funny characters. Given that, though, the film for me was just so-so. I was expecting something a bit more realistic that perhaps was a bit more of a creative new retelling that is more consistent with Dickens. What emerges here is something that, during all periods of David’s life, feels as breezy as a Jane Austen production, kind of like Annie without the music. While I did find some of it funny, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. (2019; 3 Stars)

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