WHAT’S IT ABOUT?     

This “woke” dramedy was directed by Armando Iannucci and loosely based on the novel by Charles Dickens.  It premiered in Canada last fall and was then released in the United Kingdom just weeks before the pandemic closed theaters around the world.  While it’s not everyone’s cup of 19th century British tea, the performances are excellent, the storytelling is creative, and the experience is lovely.

IS IT ANY GOOD?   (A-)

Dev Patel is wonderful and carries the film, like he always does in every film he’s in.  The movie boasts a “color blind” cast and includes award-winning actors Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Laurie, Gwendoline Christie, and Benedict Wong.  The film showcases beautiful cinematography, costume design, and locations.  Some of the sites used in the filming are Kingston Upon Hull’s Old Town in Yorkshire, and Angel Hotel in Bury St. Edmund, where Charles Dickens once stayed and where he wrote part of the book The Pickwick Papers: Classic Edition With Original Illustrations.

Just like the source material, there is some humor that will make you laugh out loud, although not all of the humor lands or even fits in this century.  There’s a freshness to it that helps to justify its existence and keep you interested.  Some viewers are not fans of messing with the classic tale, but if you love Charles Dickens, it’s definitely worth taking a peek at.  Despite the passing years, the source material still has lessons for us to learn.  Others have been confused why the same actress plays both Clara Copperfield AND Dora Spenlow.  That’s not to say she didn’t do an outstanding job, because she did. 

IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?    (PG)

  • Some people fight. One of them gets bloody.
  • Some sexual innuendo, cleavage, and skin.
  • Most children will be very bored.

ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?       

  • Hope
  • Determination
  • Imagination
  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Community, family
  • Charity
  • Kindness
  • …”like the Bible story. I’m sure there’s a Bible story about that…” – Mrs. Micawber  (Bronagh Gallagher)
  • “I’ve been attempting to learn gentlemen’s humor from a book.” – Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw)

Movie Review Mom:  Trina Boice teaches for BYU-I, is an author of 29 books, and a mother of 4 sons.  You can read more of her reviews at www.MovieReviewMom.com  You can hear her podcast “Daily Inspirational Quotes Hosted by Trina” on Amazon Echo devices and Volley FM.  She founded an online school and continues to create courses at www.LifelongLearningEducation.com  Because she is a popular speaker in China and loves to travel around the world, she created www.EmptyNestTravelHacker.com  You can see all of her books and win prizes at www.TrinasBooks.com  You can also find @TrinaBoice on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.