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Based on Charles Dickens' novel, this adaptation traces the childhood of an orphan whose mother dies giving birth to him in an English work-house in the 1820s. Little Oliver Twist, already ... See full summary »
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David Copperfield lives a nearly idyllic existence with his beautiful mother Clara and their housekeeper Peggotty. His life changes forever when his mother re-marries. Mr. Murdstone is a no-nonsense businessman and a strict disciplinarian who believes in corporal punishment. David is soon sent to a strict boarding school but when his mother dies, his stepfather sends him to London to work in a foul smelling factory. He forms a close friendship with Mr. Micawber and moves in with the man and his loving family but as the Micawbers are forced by circumstance to relocate, he seeks out his aunt Betsey Trotwood. She sends him to fine school and he lodges with Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes. As he grows older David is apprenticed to a law firm where he soon meets the senior partner's daughter, Dora. Life's challenges continue to confront him but with the help of friends and family, he overcomes adversity including his aunt's loss of her savings, the death of his wife and the ... Written by
Wonderful Dickens adaptation, elevated by excellent acting
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
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