Monday, November 20, 2017

The Man Who Invented Christmas

On Wednesday, I saw The Man Who Invented Christmas, starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer.

Based on a script that was based on a non-fiction work, this film tells a dramatized version of the weeks leading up to the publication of Charles Dickens' masterpiece, A Christmas Carol. As a Dickens freak myself (first stop on my first trip to London was a visit to his historical house), I couldn't have been more excited when I heard this was coming out, with Downton Abbey's Stevens in the lead role. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the outcome.

The film attempts to tell, in an overtly manic way, how chaotic Dickens' life was when he was dreaming up this story. People constantly coming in and out of the house, more children than they knew what to do with and a father that just kept "taking" from his famous son. It can't have been easy to concentrate on writing, and if that was the goal of the movie, then it was well achieved.

The problem is, it's rather annoying. Most importantly, the narrative is devoid of the magic expected in a presentation about a work of literature that changed the way the British (and later the world, it could be argued) celebrated Christmas.

Christopher Plummer isn't in it enough as Scrooge, and the minor characters are perhaps too minor to care out.

A shame, because the topic is such a rich one.


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