‘The Man Who Invented Christmas‘ is a 2017 UK biographical drama film based on Charles Dickens’ process in writing ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It is directed by Bharat Nalluri and made by Rhombus Media.
In 1843 London, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) is suffering from writer’s block and financially following the failure of his last three books. Despite the best efforts of his friend John Forster (Justin Edwards), he is rejected by his publishers and sets out to write a Christmas novel after getting inspiration from his children’s nurse Tara (Anna Murphy). He sets out to find inspiration and when he stumbles on a funeral for a rich man where only his business partner is there, he hears the rich miser say, “Humbug.” This inspires him to create Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), but his inspiration is cut off by the arrival of his well-meaning, but overbearing father John Dickens (Jonathan Pryce) arrives disrupting his creativity and his wife Kate (Morfydd Clark) reveals she is pregnant. As he tries to work on the novel and finance it himself, he runs into problems, but each step of the way, Scrooge keeps reminding him of where he came from.
As for the historical accuracy of the film, I admit I am not an expert on the first time Dickens first heard the term “humbug.” I know it is based on a book by the same name, but I have not read it, so I will focus on the movie.
I would like to say from the on-set that I loved Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens. He embodied the author and delivered an excellent performance, one that made the viewer connect with him. Likewise, Christopher Plummer did an excellent job as Scrooge. He personified him and the exchanges between the two were among the best of the movie.
My one qualm is the movie is that it opened a few threads that did not get explored completely. For instance, Dickens reads his manuscript to his new maid because she represents his audience. There is a brief scene where it appears that his wife is jealous of this attention, but it is not followed to fruition. There were a few other moments like this, but they did not impede the movie.
The theme of Christmas and how it brings hope to the world was something that I liked. Dickens is angry at his father for things that happened in the past, but as Christmas comes around, he starts to connect with his father. Those provided some pretty good moments.
How they portrayed the creative process was also spot on. Dickens meeting his characters, crafting their story, and getting inspiration from moments that happen in his daily life is nothing short of true. I am glad that they took the time to show this. Particularly, as noted above, when he hears “humbug,” Dickens dashes home to write it down and when his household tries to stop him, he yells, “HUMBUG” so he does not forget it.
Bottom line, The Man Who Invented Christmas is a fun film that explores the story of Charles Dickens and how he came up with one of the greatest Christmas novels of all time.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul language, Frightening images
FAVORITE QUOTE: No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and ‘Operation Christmas Drop.’ Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.