David Copperfield

1999
7.7| 0h30m| en
Synopsis

Charles Dickens' haunting semi-autobiographical tale of a boy who is sent away by his stepfather after his mother dies but manages to triumph over incredible adversities.

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Reviews

Noutions Good movie, but best of all time? Hardly . . .
Sexyloutak Absolutely the worst movie.
Aubrey Hackett While it is a pity that the story wasn't told with more visual finesse, this is trivial compared to our real-world problems. It takes a good movie to put that into perspective.
Quiet Muffin This movie tries so hard to be funny, yet it falls flat every time. Just another example of recycled ideas repackaged with women in an attempt to appeal to a certain audience.
springyJeff This is a great adaptation of a great novel. One of Dickens' great strengths were his characters, which the film realises and portrays brilliantly. The casting choices were great and the performance of each actor was superb and really brought the story to life. I can't name a single actor that didn't do a great job. Even the more minor characters, such as Uriah Heap's mother, were acted very well. The story is told well and gave me similar emotions to the book. As far as adaptations go, it is very good. It develops the relationships between the characters brilliantly throughout the film and thanks to the fantastic performances of the actors, we are transported to Victorian England and experience one of the greatest stories ever told.The film followed the book very closely during David's childhood and almost throughout the film, and is a credit to the great novel. I would give the novel itself a 10, but I cannot give this film the full 10. One of the reasons I did not give this film the full marks is the choice of scenes not to include from the book. For example, in the book more of Steerforth's acts from school are told and you develop a real liking to the character, before he takes Ham's beloved Emily and becomes a villain. The film for me doesn't show the character in the same light as the novel and I personally didn't feel a great liking for the character in the film. There are other omissions from the book, such as the brief return of Murdstone, that should have been included also for this film to get 10. There are a few other omissions from the book that I thought would have made the film a little better. I understand the film is already 3 hours long but when you are doing adaptations from books, I don't think the length of the film should be an issue. It should be as long as it needs to be to accurately represent the book. Overall though it is a great film and I would recommend anybody to watch it. It is an almost perfect adaptation and up there with the greats such as To Kill a Mockingbird. I would recommend reading David Copperfield before you see the film however, as it is a truly great novel.
TheLittleSongbird I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation of Dickens's book, and yes I preferred it over the 2000 version. Is it true to Dickens's work? It is reasonably, though the book isn't particularly easy to adapt at all, then again what Dickens book is? Even if there are any flaws such as it being a tad too long, it is completely compensated by the production values, music and the quality of the acting. The production values are superb, like in Bleak House and Little Dorritt, the sets are realistic-looking, the scenery breathtaking and the costumes sumptuous. The direction is also good, and sticks to the time period and the situations likely to happen during that period. The script is above decent, and does a more than acceptable job in adapting the book, and the music is lovely.And of course the acting is exceptional. I was compelled to write a separate paragraph as there are so many performances I wish to acknowledge. Daniel Radcliffe is simply adorable as young David, and acts being vulnerable very convincingly. I don't know about anybody else but I think this is the best I've seen Daniel act. Maggie Smith was simply born for the role of Aunt Betsy Trotwood, and Trevor Eve is a chilling and vile Mr Murdstone. I also loved Bob Hoskins as the debt ridden but kindly Micawber, Zoe Wannamaker as Jane Murdstone, Pauline Quirke as maternal Pegotty and Amanda Ryan as the alluring Agnes Wickfield. Also worth of mention are Allun Armstrong as Daniel Pegotty, Ian McKellen as the sinister Creakle(a character I found disappointingly forgettable in the 2000 version) and especially Nicolas Lyndhurst as the snake-like and odious Uriah Heep.Overall, I loved this 1999 adaptation for especially the acting. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Neil Welch This is good stuff, and I echo most of the positive comments made here. But is it just me, or didn't anyone else find the casting over-excessively starry? Every time I blinked there was another well-known name playing a small part, down to Dawn French as the landlady and Paul Whitehouse as the pawnbroker. What next, I thought, Clint Eastwood as the milkman? Tom Hanks as the bloke walking by on the other side of the road? Which is not to say that they weren't all very good - of course they were! - but I found it very distracting sitting there waiting in anticipation with my I-Spy book of stars doing cameos.And please save me from "Oh, Daniel Radcliffe was so cute." Radcliffe was an almost incidental child actor, who did a bit better here than he did in the Potter films (where he was so wooden that he failed to justify the faith placed in him). The strength here is in the featured characters surrounding David Copperfield's anodyne narrator.OK, that's my bit done. Normal service will now be resumed.
Mel J For me, 'David Copperfield' was quite the revelation as a film as it was one of the few times I could tolerate Charles Dickens' adaptation and it was a chance to see Dan Radcliffe, before his rather mediocre performances as Harry Potter, prove he does have acting potential in him.As the grown author David Copperfield reminisces on his life, the film focuses more on his childhood years and how he survived being an orphaned boy, with an abusive step-father, growing up in the bleakness of the Victorian era.The cast is exemplary. Maggie Smith was just perfect as David's aunt, a woman who seems cold on the outside but does welcome the child into her home. Pauline Quirke stepped away from her usual comedic roles to play the maternal Pegotty, a lovable character who you truly felt cherished this little boy. Trevor Eve delivered a very chilling performance as the hideous stepfather Mr Murdstone who loathed David on sight with Zoe Wannamake equally as cruel as Murdstone's vile sister. Every actor did an excellent job of bringing their character to life and I don't think there has ever been such a well-cast drama. However, nine-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, who two years after this film would be cast to play Harry Potter, stole the show as the vulnerable but tenacious young David. It is easy to forget his bland wooden acting in the Harry Potter films as he throws himself into the role of winsome, wide-eyed David, wonderfully depicting the pains and joys of his character.'David Copperfield' has to be one of the best adaptations of a classic novel yet. The excellent script and wonderful actors mesh together to really bring the story to life and it reminds you that sometimes the BBC does get it right. It's a pity our TV license money couldn't go to making more like this.