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Film Review: Charles Dickens is ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The story of Ebenezer Scrooge, as told in Charles Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol,” seems to be the one constant that survives the commercialization of the holiday season. The story of Scrooge’s creation is told with expressive sentimentality in “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Dan Stevens portrays the title character, that of Charles Dickens himself, and the film – directed by Bharat Nalluri (“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”), and adapted from a book by Les Standiford – is a scattered narrative between Dicken’s chaotic life in mid-19th Century Britain and his creative spirit in producing “A Christmas Carol.” Literature buffs will get a thrill as the characters spring to life as Dickens invents them, and they follow him around for the rest of the process, almost begging to be freed. Less interesting are the particulars of Dicken’s life, with domestic and familial duties that don’t mesh with the rest of the tale. Yes, Charles Dickens deserves credit for the invention of the Christmas holiday as we know it, but like the season we have to take the good with the not-as-fun elements of it all.

Charles Dickens (Stevens) is at a crossroads. His early success, with books like “Oliver Twist,” has given him a lifestyle that is envious in a London town filled with Victorian dread. But his last three books have fallen flat, and his spending is outpacing his production. His dutiful wife Kate (Morfydd Clark) is expecting again, and his father John (Jonathan Pryce) has an ill-timed visit.

His agent and friend, John Forster (Justin Edwards), is encouraging Dicken’s publishers to wait, because the author always seems to come through. When they refuse, the two scheme to release a book on their own, an idea that Dickens is trying to bring to fruition, that of an miserly old man who seeks redemption at Christmastime. Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) is about to be born.

”The Man Who Invented Christmas” opens everywhere on November 22nd. Featuring Dan Stevens, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Plummer, Morfydd Clark and Justin Edwards. Screenplay adapted by Susan Coyne, from a book by Les Standiford. Directed by Bharat Nalluri. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Man Who Invented Christmas”

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Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) and Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) in ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’
Photo credit: Bleecker Street Media

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Man Who Invented Christmas”

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