The Personal History of David Copperfield

Director: Armando Iannucci
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 1.5

By now, most people should know about the Dickens novel (and all that crap): young David (Dev Patel) gets separated from his mother by his wicked step-father Murdstone (Darren Boyd), works as a child slave in a bottle factory, goes and lives with an eccentric aunt (Tilda Swinton), bonds with the shady Micawber (Peter Capaldi) and clashes with manipulative cretin Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw).  Iannucci is best known for his flippant political satire (The Thick of It, Veep) and while he has a good ear for dialogue, with this he's reducing a literary masterpiece to a frivolous romp (with ample corner-cutting) in the same way he made the tyrannical Soviet Union in The Death of Stalin into "just" a bunch of ding-a-lings.  His "colorblind" casting - Rosalind Eleazar, who plays Agnes, is of Nigerian descent, Patel is Indian/Kenyan - at first led me to think it was going to be some sort of statement about British colonialism, but with little in the way of subtext there it's probably just attempt to 'modernize' a 19th century book.