I wrap up this year’s tribute to Christmas carols with a nod to a carol of another kind. The film, The Man Who Invented Christmas, relates Charles Dickens’ struggles in creating his classic, A Christmas Carol. And while I take exception to the title (Dickens did not invent Christmas and I suspect he’d find the title alarming), it’s all I take exception to. Daniel Stevens as Dickens shows us a man struggling: to deny his childhood traumas; to escape disreputable relatives; to provide for his wife and children; and to find something worth writing. Justin Edwards, as Forster, shows us why Charles so trusted his good-hearted agent. And Jonathan Pryce, as Charles’ father, is both endearing and disturbing.
The cinematography and scripting mesmerize. Fixtures and personalities from Dickens’ life weave themselves into his emerging story, giving viewers a glimpse into the writing life. Dickensian costumes of all kinds abound, depicting stitch by stitch the chasm between upper and lower classes. Pair that with the streets of London: from Dickens’ upscale neighborhood to the squalor of his childhood home, and you have social commentary paired with story magic.
And then there’s Christopher Plummer as Scrooge: sardonic, cold, cruel—and absolutely perfect.
Our family saw The Man Who Invented Christmas at a second-run theater. I don’t know why the film didn’t get a wider release. It’s family friendly holiday fare and explores the creation of one of our most beloved Christmas stories. What’s not to love?
When The Man Who Invented Christmas is available on DVD or streams on your online service, I hope you’ll give it a view. It’s now a cherished part of our family’s holiday festivities and just might delight your next holiday as well.
Happy 2018. And God bless us, every one!