The Personal History of David Copperfield


Directed by Armando Iannucci

Written by Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell

Produced by Kevin Loader / Celia Duval

Starring  Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Ben Wishaw, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi


There’s a Terry Gilliam-esque quality to several scenes, such as the capsized boat-house of honey-tinged youthful memories, shattered by a giant hand as fantasy gives way to reality. Cinematographer Zac Nicholson uses wide-angle lenses to capture a child’s-eye sense of wonder, stretching out single moments in dreamy slow-mo, evoking a netherworld that reminded me at times of Nicola Pecorini’s work on Gilliam’s oft-overlooked Tideland - Mark Kermode, The Guardian

Like some kind of long-lost Monty Python sketch, Iannucci’s revisionist “David Copperfield” alternates between intellect and absurdity, blending high- and lowbrow elements. Furthering that comparison is “Death of Stalin” DP Zac Nicholson’s vaguely carnivalesque, bulgy wide-angle way of immersing himself in the action and energetically covering scenes from within, whipping around to follow the comedy à la Terry Gilliam. - Variety

There’s a toned-down Wes Anderson-esque whimsy here, both in the outre supporting plays and the compositions and stylistic tics. Cinematographer Zac Nicholson brings a vibrancy to the frame, both in terms of the frequently wide-skied and sunny settings, and the sprightly camera moves that invigorate proceedings without overdosing on the gimmicks. The score, also by Christopher Willis, cleaves close to the classical style you’d expect from a Victorian era tale, but it’s given a buoyant boost of optimism. - Matt Maytum

Ditching the confined offices and winding interiors of his previous two films for wide-open meadows and beaches, Iannucci is able to indulge in more free-spirited camera coverage, allowing an at-times Malick-esque handheld camera to rove through fields and bathe in the light – beautifully lensed by DP Zac Nicholson no less. - Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth

Class, and dire economic straits, are at the heart of the matter of course and Zac Nicholson’s dizzy camera is too busy keeping step with the actors to lavish great regard for the traditional staid trappings of upholstery and production design. - Sight and Sound

The film has been getting Oscar buzz for the script, performances and below-the-line elements (Christopher Willis’s score, Suzie Harman and Robert Worley’s costumes, Christina Casali’s production design, Zac Nicholson’s cinematography and the editing of Mick Audsley and Peter Lambert). - Variety