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.
The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), the film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.
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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!
I received my copies of the BluRay and DVD, and have literally lost track of how many times I've rewatched this film! It seems as if every time I watch it, I catch something I missed! This is going to be one of the adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol that I watch every Christmas season.
The script masterfully integrates elements of the novel A Christmas Carol into Dickens's everyday life and encounters (his lawyer has a locked and chained box where he keeps his papers; he meets a waiter named Marley; various strangers on the streets give him some of the book's most famous lines) and the pacing of the film is spot on-- no extraneous or missing details. Superbly acted by the full cast. The set-work and costumes are also beautiful.
This movie was severely underrated and should have gotten way more love than it did. Easily one of the best films to come out of 2017.
As my headline states, Universal did a very, very 1-star job of marketing this movie. I never even heard of it. We were asking ourselves why we didn't even know this movie existed. If it weren't for Friday Family Movie Night and browsing around on Amazon, we would not have watched this. I highly recommend you rent it and see it anytime of the year. (It is March as of this viewing and review.)
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.