I have always loved A Christmas Carol. It was one of my favorite Dickens tales and one of my top ten books of all time. It is the original Christmas tale, not counting the story of Jesus or Santa Clause himself.
The movie is a basic concept about Charles Dickens being down on his luck and really needing a bestselling book. Which of us don’t, though? The rest of the movie is a search for inspiration and the struggle against writers block, combined with a weird rendition of the novel itself, don’t in bits and pieces, sewn throughout.
There isn’t a real story here. At least not a very interesting one, anyways. Writer needs inspiration, writer finds inspiration, and writer publishes. Most of us that are writers go through this on a day to day basis, so it makes me really wonder who this is for. Is it for writers, creators, family or Victorian era England aficionados?
I loved all the little Easter eggs to the Dickens other works,such as the orphanage that a young Charles Dickens was forced to labor in, when his after was arrested, leaving Charles stranded, the inspiration for Oliver Twist. I love the meeting with a Constable, named David Copperfield. The language coming directly from the world around Charles Dickens and the fun, but most likely, overly exaggerated way he worked.
T he problem is, who is going to care if Charles Dickens is going to finish A Christmas Carol? What happens if he doesn’t publish it, besides being in debt?
Nothing in this film is really of the essence and none of it is really going to draw us into the story and watch this for over an hour. Thankfully the screenplay was well written, so at the very least, we didn’t fall asleep during the middle of it.
The acting is superb. Not a single bad actor in the lot and all did a very good job at their individual roles. The two break away performances belong to Scrooge himself, slicing at Dickens with his acerbic wit and Dickens himself. An honorable mention goes to the character of the young Irish house maid, whose emotional investment in Charles Dickens book is the desire of every writer to have and also the soul of every single one of us when we finish a good book.
Beautiful lighting, fantastic sets, it really looked like the embodiment of the area that we’re accustomed to seeing. The CGI is on point and I think it will hold up in the years to come.
This movie is probably not for everyone. If you’re a Dicken’s buff, a fan of his work or a writer yourself, then you’ll absolutely will appreciate this the most. Even if you’re not a fan, it is decent enough to hold your attention for the duration of the movie. It is hardly a terrible movie, but to be honest, it is one that I don’t think we really needed, either. Regardless, it is a rousing Christmas romp that isn’t a horrible way to spend a night with the wife and kids, if you’re looking for family fare.
3 ½ out of 5 stars.