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David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back

David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back

Großbritannien/USA 2019 - with Dev Patel, Aneurin Barnard, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The Personal History of David Copperfield
Direction:Armando Iannucci
Cinema release:24.09.2020
Production country:Großbritannien/USA 2019
Running time:Approx. 119 min.
Rated:Ages 6+

A well-known figure of world literature comes to the cinema with his turbulent story: David Copperfield (Dev Patel), dreamt up by Charles Dickens. In a rather free interpretation by Armando Iannucci, we follow Copperfield through his childhood, which catapults him from a once sheltered home to a dreary existence as a worker in a bottle factory. There he works until he is a young man. After the death of his beloved mother, he ends up with his eccentric aunt Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton), where he makes friends with her no less eccentric lodger Mr. Dick (Hugh Laurie). But all this is just the beginning of a turbulent journey that brings David Copperfield together with very different people and hopefully brings him to the desired goal: He wants to become a writer and make the world a better place with his stories.

"David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back" is a somewhat offbeat, colorful, and over-the-top film that scores points for its whimsical characters, visual gimmicks, and quirky humor. The production is very artificial and over-the-top. Iannucci presents anything but a typical historical film here. Rather, his adaptation is a smorgasbord of grotesque moments that feels like a stage production in places. Admittedly, this takes some getting used to and is also a bit exhausting in some places. But it also gives the film a style that is not only idiosyncratic, but simply very much its own. And that is quite fun.

Once you have succeeded in getting involved with the not very subtle play of the ensemble and the inappropriate staging, you are quickly drawn into the sometimes dreary, sometimes very colorful world of David Copperfield. And there's plenty to discover on a visual level alone. It may be a bit confusing how quickly one jumps from one station of the life story to the next. But it's more the small details that leave a real impression and give the film a good entertainment factor.

With a charming Dev Patel, an endearingly cranky Hugh Laurie, a delightfully undercooled Tilda Swinton or the beautifully unpleasant Ben Whishaw, the film is truly first-class cast. This ensemble alone makes the purchase of a movie ticket absolutely worthwhile. If you have a soft spot for quirky humor, playful set design and creative literary adaptations, then this is clearly worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back
  • David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back
  • David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back
  • David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back
  • David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back
Cinema trailer for the movie "David Copperfield - Once Rich and Back (Großbritannien/USA 2019)"
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