Arts & Culture
Film Of The Week
Words Harry Langham
The Personal History of David Copperfield review – Cockle-warming return to the past brings hope of a brighter future
If some movies are “feel-good”, then Armando Iannucci’s kaleidoscopic adaptation of Dickens’s career-defining bildungsroman is a veritable shot in the arm with the happy stuff, an IV dopamine booster that would warm even the icy cockles of Scrooge himself. It is a triumph of comic imagination, a mazy journey of self-discovery centred around the attempts of its narrator – played by a charmingly blundering Dev Patel – to discover whether or not he is the hero of his own story. Patel is accompanied by a glorious ensemble of actorly talent, cast according to a principle of colour-blind inclusivity which succeeds in warding off the seductive allure of unthinking nostalgia.
Taking down statues has nothing to do with erasing our past. They’re a way of convincing ourselves that we can listen to history as we deem fit, rather than as it actually unfolded.