Armando Iannucci’s rollicking farce keeps the spirit of Dickens intact

Dir: Armando Iannucci. Cast: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Jairaj Varsani, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi, Daisy May Cooper, Paul Whitehouse, Rosalind Eleazar, Aneurin Barnard, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong. Cert: PG. Time: 119 mins.

“Like many fond parents,” Charles Dickens wrote a few years before he died, “I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.” Dickens’s abiding affection for his eighth novel surely stemmed at least in part from the fact that its story ran closest to his own. The author and the book’s hero both toiled in factories as children, fell in love with pretty young women well above their station, eventually made a living from words,…

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