TIFF 2019: First Reactions Are Calling ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield:’ “Delightful, Hilarious, Surreal”

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival welcomed the world premiere of Armando Iannucci’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” starring Academy Award nominee Dev Patel (“Lion”) in an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. Attendees out of TIFF are calling the film “a delight,” “quirky” and “charming.”

The official synopsis from TIFF reads:

Born six months after the death of his father, David (Patel) is lucky to be raised by a loving mother. But when Mum weds the dour Edward Murdstone, David is shipped off to the cottage — actually a capsized boat — of his housekeeper’s family. These peculiar accommodations prove to be only the first of David’s numerous temporary abodes, which include an oppressive boarding school and the home of his eccentric aunt Betsey Trotwood (Swinton). Wherever David goes, whether living in poverty or comfort, he writes pithy impressions of all those he encounters — impressions that will one day constitute his autobiography.

Iannucci directs his third theatrical feature with a script he wrote with Simon Blackwell. The two collaborated before on the director’s 2009 comedy “In the Loop,” which went on to nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Iannucci’s second big release came with last year’s “The Death of Stalin,” a dark-humored political satire on the era of Joseph Stalin. The film was nominated for two BAFTA awards, Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. There’s plenty of potential for Iannucci to bring his latest back to the BAFTA’s.

“The Personal History of David Copperfield” also stars Oscar winners Tilda Swinton and Peter Capaldi, Golden Globe winners Hugh Laurie and Ben Whishaw, and Emmy nominee Gwendoline Christie.

First reactions for the film started rolling out post-premiere via Twitter:

“The Personal History of David Copperfield” is produced by FilmNation Entertainment. It will screen at the BFI London Film Festival for its European premiere October 2 with U.S. distribution and release date to be determined.

What do you think of the first reactions for Armando Iannucci’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield” out of TIFF? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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