Dickens' great strength as an author was characterization, and Director Simon Curtis transforms this strength onto the screen. Even the most minor supporting characters are portrayed well.
In the major roles, Daniel Radcliffe as the young David is outstanding. (Of course, he has gone on to star as Harry Potter.)
Bob Hoskins is excellent as Micawber, Amanda Ryan portrays Agnes Wickfield beautifully, and Ian McNeice as Mr. Dick and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Uriah Heep are perfect.
For me, however, the true star of the movie is Dame Maggie Smith as Aunt Betsy Trotwood. Dame Maggie was born to play this role, and every frame in which she appears is a pleasure to watch.
This movie presents Dickens in the way Dickens was meant to be seen on the screen. Bravo!