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The Man Who Invented Christmas
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Before publishing the hugely successful 'A Christmas Carol', Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) published three novels that were total flops. In just six weeks, Dickens mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and the timeless tale.
Christopher Plummer plays Ebenezer Scrooge, the legendary miser that Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) conjured up in his imagination while writing A Christmas Carol.
Jonathan Pryce plays John Dickens father of famous author Charles Dickens. Though Charles locks himself away to write 'A Christmas Carol,' his imaginative father and the rest of the chaotic household are a constant distraction.
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As a fan of A Christmas Carol, with a collection of approximately sixty adaptations on VHS and DVD, I rank this adaptation among my favorites.
It's a historical period piece, which provides what could have been sights and sounds similar to those which Charles Dickens experienced during his visit to the United States of America, and approximately two years later, when he felt inspired to write "A Christmas Carol."
This film also enters the realm of imagination, as it recreates what could have been Charles Dickens' own nightmares and demons, as he struggled to be kind and generous, yet felt the natural inclination to become impatient with his financially burdensome parents, and with his servants and family who were constantly interrupting him while he was trying to write and publish A Christmas Carol in six weeks, on a constantly shrinking budget.
Characters from A Christmas Carol are represented well enough to form a loose adaptation of the classic, while the film can stand alone as a biographical tale of this difficult period in Charles Dickens' life.
Various items from Dickens' life and A Christmas Carol appear in this film, such as his fireplace with white and blue tiles, as mentioned in his novel. I look forward to receiving the BluRay so I can rewatch, rewind and pause it!
One last thing, I thought I caught all the little details that made their way into the final draft of A Christmas Carol. I didn’t. Incredible attention to detail. It was really fun looking in the background for all the little things that were pertinent to A Christmas Carol.
The performances by the cast are excellent, but two in particular stand out above the others: Christopher Plummer as Scrooge and Jonathan Pryce as Charles Dickens' charming but hopelessly irresponsible father, John Dickens.
Note: it is absolutely vital that viewers have either read A Christmas Carol or at least seen a good film adaptation of it (the best IMHO being the 1951 version with Alistair Sim as Scrooge) before seeing The Man Who Invented Christmas. Otherwise they're going to miss most of the connections and references that occur in the film, particularly the more subtle ones dealing with where and how Dickens got his ideas for his characters. It is also helpful if viewers know something about Dickens' life, but the film does a fairly good job of filling in the background in that area.
Highly, highly recommended for anyone who likes movies about the story-behind-the-story accounts of famous works, for anyone who's a fan of A Christmas Carol and/or Charles Dickens, and for any writer who's had to struggle with financial pressures, deadlines, writer's block and characters that refuse to do what you want them to do.
A beautifully told story in its own right but even better if you love Dickens!