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Dev Patel recounts his exciting life in an attempt to become a successful writer in the latest trailer for Searchlight Pictures’ The Personal History of David Copperfield.
Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, the comedic film tells the story of David Copperfield (Patel) from youth into adulthood. After having a privileged upbringing, David learns that his mother (Morfydd Clark) has married the sinister Mr. Murdstone (Darren Boyd), who beats David. David is then sent to work in Murdstone’s factory. After his mother’s death, David escapes to live with his wealthy aunt, Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton). Throughout the film, he recounts his journey from impoverished orphan to up-and-coming writer in Victorian England.
Aneurin Barnard, Peter Capaldi, Daisy May Cooper, Rosalind Eleazar, Hugh Laurie, Ben Wishaw and Paul Whitehouse round out the cast of the Armando Iannucci film.
The trailer opens with an adult David talking to an audience while onstage. “Whether I turn out to be the hero of my own story or that that station will be held by anybody else, these moments may show,” he says, before recalling memories from his childhood that now seem “like a scarcely believable fiction.”
A montage shows a young David (Jairaj Varsani) roaming around London, followed by clips of an older vDavid learning that his mother is dead.
After his mother’s death, David tracks down his Aunt Betsey and introduces himself. Betsey and her lodger, the eccentric Mr. Dick (Laurie), soon take him in.
Contrasting clips show David’s privileged early upbringing and more troubled recent past as he adjusts to his new life with his aunt. “This narrative is far more than mere fiction,” he says in a voiceover as he begins to write about his personal experiences. “It is, in fact, written memory.”
The trailer concludes with the adult David talking to his younger self as he reflects on his exciting experiences.
The Personal History of David Copperfield premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. It will be in theaters May 8. Watch the full trailer above.
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