It feels like it’s been eons since Armando Ianucci‘s The Personal History of David Copperfield wowed critics at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and became one of the festival circuit darlings that the rest of us masses couldn’t wait to see. Then the pandemic hit and, well, you know the story. Disney has continually delayed the Searchlight Pictures film, which was originally set to hit theaters in May. But with the fall release schedule essentially done for, and theaters not looking to be back in business anytime soon, Disney is finally letting the rest of us get a dose of Ianucci’s offbeat comedy by setting a digital release date for this November.
This was supposed to be the year of Dev Patel — the Lion actor had two critically acclaimed hits (featuring the British-Indian star in typically white roles) under his belt that were set to hit theaters earlier this year. While A24’s The Green Knight is nowhere to be seen, at least we’ll be getting The Personal History of David Copperfield soon.
The Personal History of David Copperfield will be available to watch on Digital on November 17, 2020 in English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital (some platforms). The digital release will also feature a making-of bonus feature titled “The Personal Making of David Copperfield.”
The film earned raves when it debuted at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, for Patel’s charming performance and Ianucci’s trademark acerbit wit that the filmmaker has shown in hit shows and films like Veep, In the Loop, The Thick of It, and The Death of Stalin. Iannucci co-wrote the script with Succession‘s Simon Blackwell, and took a color-blind casting approach by putting Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) in the lead role. Patel is joined on screen by Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Morfydd Clark, Daisy May Cooper, Rosalind Eleazar, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Benedict Wong, Gwendoline Christie, and Paul Whitehouse.
/Film’s Chris Evangelista calls the movie “an utter joy to watch,” and writes in his review, “The Personal History of David Copperfield is so warm, so inviting, so pure, that it will make your heart sing. We don’t deserve a movie as overwhelmingly charming as this, but how lucky we are to have it.”
Here is the official synopsis for The Personal History of David Copperfield:
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD re-imagines Charles Dickens’ classic ode to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers— giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors from across the world. Emmy® winners and Oscar® nominees Armando Iannucci (IN THE LOOP, THE DEATH OF STALIN, HBO’S Veep) and Simon Blackwell (IN THE LOOP, HBO’s Succession) lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.
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