The 63rd London Film Festival opening film has been announced – and it looks like a cracker. Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a Charles Dickens adaptation with a Londoner, Dev Patel, in the title role and a supporting cast so awesome, the Leicester Square red carpet will need to be reinforced to support its heavyweight status on Wednesday October 2.
Co-starring with Patel are Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong and Paul Whitehouse. Peter Capaldi plays the ever-optimistic Mr Micawber.
Directed and co-written (with Simon Blackwell) by Iannucci (‘The Death of Stalin’), it’s the first cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s most personal novel in half a century. It’s a fitting way to open a festival whose previous Brit-lit curtain-raisers include ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ and ‘The Remains of the Day’.
Patel plays the good-hearted Copperfield, whose fortunes ebb and flow from boyhood to adulthood against a backdrop of Victorian England and the scheming of his nemesis Uriah Heep (Whishaw).
The BFI London Film Festival runs October 2-13. The full festival programme is announced on Thursday August 29. Check back for all the details then – and don’t forget that Time Out will have its own gala at the fest.
Meanwhile, here are the ten best movies to see in cinemas in July.