‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ Review

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It’s always interesting to hear the story behind the creation of our favorite stories because it opens up an all new understanding of the author and how he comes up with his characters. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a semi-biographical film based on the Les Standiford book of the same name. The film stars Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, and Jonathan Pryce as it follows the story of Charles Dickens around the time when he wrote A Christmas Carol. Through the film, we see how Dickens’ fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge was influenced by his real-life father, John Dickens and the society of early Victorian London. The story is fun, albeit a little far-fetched, and the acting is good, if not over the top. The most interesting parts involve seeing what life was like in London during that time. Dan Stevens does well as an exciting and eccentric Charles Dickens. Dickens is shown as a man of the people even though he is very wealthy, which is why he chooses to write about things that common people can relate to and enjoy. Stevens has nice chemistry with the rest of the cast. Scenes with John Dickens, played by Jonathan Pryce, and Charles’ best friend John Forster, played by Justin Edwards, stand out as some of the best. Jonathan Pryce is at home in his role of John Dickens. You really believe that he is a father trying to reconnect with his son and feels bad for what he put Charles through. Christopher Plummer is perfect as Ebenezer Scrooge. He looks and sounds the part as if he were pulled directly from the page, which would have been even better in a film based on A Christmas Carol instead of a story about Dickens. The film does get very extravagant as Dickens comes up with all of the characters in the story. While it is interesting seeing them appear, but they do overstay their welcome and begin to take away from the main story of the film. The story also lulls at times and can even make the eccentric characters come off a tad boring. The director does not balance the realism of Charles’ childhood trauma and family issues with his current looney antics. A more focused story about Charles Dickens’ family would have made for a more appealing film. I give The Man Who Invented Christmas a Normal 6.7/10. With Goodbye Christopher Robin releasing earlier this year and now this, hopefully, we will continue to get more intriguing tales of how our greatest literary works came to light, but hopefully with the quality of the former.

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