The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Poster

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9/10
Only one complaint...
StorieLuver28 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
(These are only "spoilers" if you don't know Dickens' basic biography and/or the impact of Victorian England on what is considered a "traditional" Christmas)

This review is written in response to a critic who called this film "highly fictionalized." As someone who has taught Dickens and specifically "A Christmas Carol" for almost 10 years now, I wonder what the critic's problem was? Dickens truly did have a very rough period in his childhood when his father was sent to debtor's prison for living beyond his means and the young boy was forced to work in a boot blacking factory; this experience indelibly affected his outlook on life and his writing, and the movie absolutely captures this. In addition, Dickens was indeed strapped for cash in late 1843 and coming off the flop that was "Martin Chuzzlewit" (which he considered his masterpiece) so he did actually punch out the "Carol" in an amazing mere 6 weeks as a desperate cash grab. As far as I could tell, the movie was quite accurate, so I don't know what the critic was whining about (maybe he just doesn't know his Dickensian history).

Meanwhile, my one complaint...if you're going to call the film "The Man Who INVENTED Christmas," you need to establish how Christmas was (or in this case, really WASN'T) celebrated in England pre-1840s. Aside from the very quick mention by the publishers that "no one celebrates Christmas anymore" and a brief reference at the end about a "tannenbaum" (aka Christmas tree) and how the German Prince Albert had imported his tradition into his wife Queen Victoria's household, and now everyone will copy the royals, there isn't much mention of how Dickens' work and the period in general affected our concept of Christmas. For example, did you know that 1843 was also the first year printed Christmas cards were sold? And there's a reason little lit up ceramic houses on Christmas display are called "Dickens villages." It just seems that the movie could've included more information about the impact on the holiday. Other than that, a very worthy effort which will be worth referencing during my Dickens lessons in the future!
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10/10
Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer head wonderful cast
gwmbkm26 November 2017
When Dan Stevens asked that Matthew, his "Downton Abbey" character, be "killed off" so he could pursue other acting opportunities, I thought his career would go directly downhill. Matthew Crawley was a pleasant young man - but really didn't give Stevens much meat to chew so I figured his career would go the unsuccessful way of many other actors of limited talent who left successful TV parts. However, he was right to leave. He is much more talented than Matthew Crawley allowed him to be. His versatility is showcased to perfection as Charles Dickens in THE MAN WHO INVENTED Christmas.

It doesn't hurt that his Dickens is surrounded by a charming group of eccentrics, some of whom exist in his 19th century reality and others of whom exist only in his fertile imagination. I particularly liked Anna Murphy's Tara, the Irish housemaid who presents Dickens with inspiration for several key elements in his "A Christmas Carol." Ms. Murphy's career should advance as she has a quite likable screen persona and an ability to stand out in any scene.

Christopher Plummer is wonderful in every part in which he plays. What woman wouldn't want to heal the heart of his Captain Von Trappe (THE SOUND OF MUSIC)? Who wouldn't want to hear his Chang declaim Shakespeare in its original Klingon(STAR TREK VI)? And who couldn't be caught up in the soul of Hal in his Academy Award winning BEGINNERS? I saw him in his stage presentation of BARRYMORE and was mesmerized. His Scrooge is equally mesmerizing.

The script is tight, the acting is solid, the sets, costumes, and staging are perfectly 1843. This movie should become a true Christmas classic - just as "A Christmas Carol" itself is a classic. In short - I loved it!
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An unexpected mix of biopic and fairytale
FilmFlowCritics21 November 2017
It actually took me a while to put this movie into a box. Is it a biography about Charles Dickens, or another version of the classic story being told? It's both.

It's actually like you watch a theater play that includes special effects you all have to imagine yourself during a play. You can clearly see the theatrical approach that the director wanted to take here. Christopher Plummer is an excellent Scrooge, the perfect fit! Even though this film throws in a good bit of comedy into the pot, it doesn't harm the story at all. If anything, it brings a little bit of freshness to the old classic of "A Christmas Carol".

I wouldn't describe it as a Christmas movie, or something that the whole family can enjoy for Christmas, but it certainly is a (long needed) new and modern approach to this story and that is still fascinating me, that this story indeed, never gets old.
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8/10
Joy To The Characters/World, Humbug To The Emotion
rgkarim22 November 2017
The definition of the modern Christmas we celebrate can be traced to legendary author Charles Dickens who made the timeless classic A Christmas Carol. Such an epic story is stemmed in the spirit of giving, hope, and redemption, a symbol that we aspire to hit and often not succeed. Where did the inspiration come from though? How did he get the ideas? I don't know, but the movie I'm reviewing tonight attempts to answer that question in an entertaining manner. Robbie K here sharing his opinions on The Man Who Invented Christmas starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer.

LIKES:

The World: If you read my reviews, you know I'm a big fan of world building and settings. The Man Who Invented Christmas recreates the nostalgic world of 19th century London and all the class that once inhabited the world. Seeing the society of the times reemerge from the London fog brought a homey feeling to me, invoking the beginnings of the Christmas season in a world that once treated as a minor holiday. The attention to detail is astonishing, primarily in all the chaotic organization that was Dickens' life, primarily the study to where he pondered all his works. It is this factor that will pull you into the movie as the stage continues to unfold.

Clever Presentation: When attempting to answer how Charles got his motivation and do it in an entertaining manner, the team has to think outside the box for this one. The Man Who Invented Christmas managed to do this quite well in most manners, primarily in rendering his thoughts as personified beings, capable of interacting with him. His conversations with the characters is a creative representation of the stresses of his mind and how they influence the progression of the story. And very much like a scene out of Slum Dog Millionaire, the movie was able to also bring his supposed history into the mix to also motivate moments of the book. Much of it was predictable, but it was a nice homage to his life that filled in the gaps I had forgotten.

The Acting: By far the best element for me though is the acting held in this movie. The secondary characters do their part in serving as obstacles, motivations, and support for Dickens himself, especially his best friend and his father. Yet, the main piece to watch are the characters of Scrooge and Dickens himself. Christopher Plummer still has life within his older bones, playing the pompous Englishman to the letter. He captured all the quips, jabs, and sarcasm of the character and managed to get that bitter attitude toward life. Yet, Plummer also got the humorous part of the role down pat, almost like a rival/mentor showing tough love to accomplish the task. As for Stevens, his portrayal of the talented writer with the obsession for perfection was fantastic. Stevens managed to take the dual role of Charles Dickens and personify the internal struggle that was his life as he pursued his muse of an epic story. All the anger, frustration, and joy were quite balanced in this movie, hooking me into his life and keeping me in my seat until the final sequence faded to black.

DISLIKES:

Scene Placement: The movie does a nice job filling in the gaps, but at times I didn't enjoy the placement of the scenes. Mainly the flashback scenes, much of Dickens' past was scattered through this movie, dropped at odd moments that offset the momentum of the sequence. Some of these moments could have been better delivered at earlier moments, and may have minimized the confusion of why he was so angry. Not sure whose direction it was to place things in this order, but it didn't work for me at times.

Background Characters: As you watch his story progress, you get to see new characters emerge as his world starts to motivate him to write. Yet unlike Scrooge, with whom he constantly interacts with, many of the other characters are just background bodies who smile, laugh, and kind of look odd. Sure, I understand the personification of what they mean during his writer's block and how they were connected to his central character, but why did they remain constantly in the background? I don't have those answers, but it was kind of odd having them randomly walking around with him and doing little past that. Sorry guys, not a fan of limited use characters.

The diluted emotion: I expected the movie about the guy who revolutionized Christmas to be a little more emotionally charged. Sadly, this film didn't quite pack the holiday joy and magic that his tale was able to elicit long ago when I watched the Muppet version long ago. While inspirational, I didn't get overwhelmed with feelings that made me embrace the holiday season. I felt this was due to some of the movie magic being left out of the movie, giving it that realistic twist, but unfortunately drying up the specialness those hokey, overdramatic effects bring to the table. This tale would have benefited from a page in the Hallmark channel book in terms of motivating you to inherit the spirit of Christmas.

The VERDICT:

The Man Who Invented Christmas is an immersive film that uses setting, presentation, and incredible acting to bring the 19th century to life. Despite all the cool insights into Dickens' life though, this movie lacks cinematic magic, logical use of characters, and pacing that is important in films. This movie could have done well on a television release, or streaming movie rather than a theater presentation. It does hold potential for a church outing, but this reviewer recommends holding out until it comes to home viewing.

My scores are:

Biography/Comedy/Drama: 8.0 Movie Overall: 7.0
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9/10
Wonderful
drjgardner3 December 2017
This is a wonderful film and will be especially delightful for people familiar with "A Christmas Carol" and with Dickens in general, but you don't need any background to enjoy it. Basically the film tells the story of how Dickens came to write this classic. The writer's process imagined in this film is true to life for many of us who are writers, though it isn't the only way from pen to paper.

Great acting, good sets, and great music with an excellent script help make this a new classic. The only deficit I saw was the less than opulent sets, which is why I gave it a 9 instead of a 10.

The special gift in this film is seeing Christopher Plummer back on the big screen. Jonathan Price also stands out as Dicken's father.

Go see this film. Go see it especially at the Xmas season.
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10/10
An excellent look at the life of Charles Dickens and his most beloved story
Cagney26 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Some spoilers may exist!

In this mixture of fact, fantasy and dreams, we get a rare look into the mind of the man responsible for creating, "A Christmas Carol", probably the favorite Christmas story of all time. Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens, a man tormented by debt, past memories and, worst of all, a complete writer's block. The unique way in which he manages to rid himself of the writer's block and create this beloved Christmas story is done cleverly and with great acting. You will recognize many famous lines from the original story, being presented in ordinary conversation. The casting, writing and acting from all concerned is exceptional. I can see this becoming another classic Christmas movie watched year after year.
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6/10
one of the best humbugs
ferguson-622 November 2017
Greetings again from the darkness. Most would agree there is only one Christmas story that surpasses the popularity and familiarity of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", and both have had numerous film and screen adaptations. Rather than offer up yet another film version of the Dickens novella, director Bharat Nalluri (MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY, 2008) instead uses the Susan Coyne screenplay adapted from the non-fiction work of Les Standiford to present the lively and entertaining tale of HOW Dickens wrote his iconic book.

Dan Stevens (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 2017) stars as the esteemed writer Charles Dickens, and he bounds from scene to scene like a moody and spoiled Energizer Bunny. Attempts to capture the process behind creative writing usually falls into one of two buckets: dry and boring, or outlandish and over-the-top. Mr. Stevens easily fits into the latter, but as a testament to the strength of the story and supporting cast, we viewers are nonetheless quite entertained.

It should surprise no one that Christopher Plummer steals each of his scenes as Ebenezer Scrooge. What a delight to behold the talented octogenarian as he leaves us wishing for even more of the grumpy and miserly old former partner of Jacob Marley. Jonathan Pryce also excels as Charles' father John, a charming man who has never quite figured out the economics of life … and whose long ago debt sent young Charles to a work house mixing shoe black. Even as an adult, Charles had recurring nightmares of his time in child labor, and fortunately he was able to use those memories to create many long-lasting stories, each oblivious to generational change.

In 1843 London, the renowned Dickens is coming off three straight flops and experiencing financial woes that are exacerbated by his insistence on the finest materials for the large home he and wife Kate (Morfydd Clark, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP) are renovating. Dickens is in the midst of severe writer's block, and only the quiet strength of his wife and never-wavering loyalty of friend/agent John Forster (Justin Edwards) are able to keep in from sinking to even lower emotional depths. Screen veteran Miriam Margolyes plays the housekeeper, and Anna Murphy is Tara, the Irish nanny who serves as a muse for Dickens.

Having the characters of the story appear on screen and interact with the writer is a terrific way to explain how the creative mind works, although at times, the sources of ideas, characters and key lines seem a bit too convenient. We often get the feeling that perhaps too much was crammed into the run time, what with the conflicts over money, renovations, family matters, and publishing. The best parts are also the easiest with which to relate – those involving the characters and the story slowly coming together.

Simon Callow plays John Leech, the famed illustrator of the finished novella, and Miles Jupp adds a bit of twisted fun as Dickens' rival William Makepeace Thackery. There are some interesting lines that add color, such as, "People will believe anything if you are properly dressed", and "blood of iron, heart of ice". It's these pieces that allow us to view this as a journey of self-discovery for the author, and not just a famous story being assembled. The overall trouble with the film stems from that title. It seems we could have expected more than a tease of what Christmas was at the time, and more specifically how "A Christmas Carol" inspired a revolutionary new approach to the holiday. We are left to connect many dots. In fact, Dickens didn't so much invent Christmas as allow folks to re- imagine it.

Is "A Christmas Carol" the most famous Dickens story? Arguments could also be made for "Oliver Twist", "David Copperfield", "Little Dorrit", "Nicholas Nickelby", and of course, "A Tale of Two Cities". What can't be argued is the brilliance of the writer and the impact of his books. His passion is evident in his determination to self- publish at a time when such practice was a rare as it is commonplace today. The film is rated PG, but younger kids are likely to be confused with the frenetic approach; however, all ages will get a merry kick out of Mr. Plummer's Scrooge!
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6/10
A Fresh Perspective on the Classic Story
fletcherc2126 November 2017
By 1843 Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) was a successful author known around the world, however he was in a funk. His last three books were flops and he was broke and well into debt. Out of ideas he is up against the wire knowing another flop could very well kill his career. When inspiration finally strikes, he is forced to publish the book himself because no publisher wants to do a Christmas book and he has to finish in just six weeks in order to release before Christmas.

When Dickens is writing, he sees his characters in the room with him and talks to them to develop the character. This is best done with his conversations with Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) a character he created as an amalgamation of London's snobby elite who helps he learn about himself as he writes. The story also dives into Dickens early life, especially his relationship with his father (Jonathan Pryce), which helps the viewer understand what drove and inspired Dickens.

This is definitely a movie that assumes familiarity with A Christmas Carol, since it constantly references the story. The title is also a misnomer of sorts, there is no real perspective as to what Christmas was like before A Christmas Carol. And while Dickens did shape a new form of Christmas, it is not the Christmas that is celebrated today. Dickens' Christmas was focused on charitable giving and coming together with loved ones, that Christmas has been lost for a while in favor of a more consumerist Christmas.
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8/10
Worth Watching
gloriapage-2016419 February 2018
In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate for a hit, Dickens relies on real-life inspiration and his vivid imagination to bring Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters to life in "A Christmas Carol," forever changing the holiday season into the celebration known today.

Well made. Lots of fun. "Most" likely will grow in popularity in the years to come.

The film is so well made and acted that you will want to watch it Now instead of waiting for Christmas
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4/10
Humbug
matthewssilverhammer20 December 2017
I don't think we can avoid getting a filmed version of Dickens' immortal "A Christmas Carol" once every few years. It's a wonderful tale of redemption that fits perfectly within the larger Christmas narrative, and The Man Who Invented Christmas presents that with a unique twist. Unfortunately, the twist it gives it isn't nearly as strong as Dickens' tale itself. It's the "Saving Mr. Banks problem": wishing you were watching the subject of a film (the actual "Christmas Carol") instead of the film itself (Dickens' writing of it), which is as gentle and foggy as a London breeze, and very nearly as vapid. Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (Stevens) was coming off a 3-book slump when he had the inadvisable idea to self-publish a novel about Christmas, which (SPOILER ALERT!) became a huge success. This story is told through the compelling mechanism of Dickens imagining his characters to life and wrestling with their decisions face-to-face, giving us the unique perspective of how a writer creates. Unfortunately, there's little naturalism in any of it. His initial visions and ideas are (ridiculously) exactly as they appear in the novel, and the movie keeps desperately forcing us to make connections between Dickens' real life and his story. And Stevens doesn't help, giving a performance more akin to Chandler Bing than Alastair Sim. Sure, the production (sets, costumes) is beautiful. We're treated to gregariously be-wigged characters and smoggy old streets in this study of artistic inspiration and madness. Unfortunately, it's all stuck on top of a much-too-safe story on the plight of the rich man, that's just more proof that an artist's imagination is often more compelling than his life.
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10/10
Worth the watch!
isabella-0609729 October 2018
I honestly love this movie, it's amazing how the biography aspect and the fantastical are mixed together. It's lighthearted and fun, yet intriguing and relatable. I couldn't have asked for a better Charles Dickens than the one Dan Stevens delivered. A great spin on the classic A Christmas Carol. Will be on my Christmas watch-list in the future!
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6/10
Best for the person who ADORES Dickens.
MartinHafer23 July 2018
Whitewashing his marriage--THE INVISIBLE WOMAN here's where he got the inspiration for this and that and that a bit of a dick

The timing of "The Man Who Invented Christmas" seems a bit unusual in that back only a few years before, the film "The Invisible Woman" came out and the latter film would seem to contradict much of the nice-guy image they created. So, in "The Invisible Woman", you learn that Charles Dickens had a wife who was perpetually pregnant with his children...only to be dumped by Charles for another woman. In "The Man Who Invented Christmas", you have a man who has some personal demons BUT who was essentially a nice-guy and who was a really swell guy by the end of the movie. Clearly, the latter film used a bit of artistic license!

The story is about the creation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"...and the creative process going on behind the scenes. Some of this is clever but too much of it, to me, seemed like they were tossing in all sorts of references too often. Regardless, by the end of the story, Dickens is beloved and all is good.

If it sounds like I did not love this film, that's true. While the critics seemed to really like it, I felt that the story is pretty much one that Dickens fans would love...while others would like it as well IF they didn't know that the man was extremely flawed. Overall, watchable but also it's a film that tries too hard to make something special happen.
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8/10
Nice Blend of Biopic and a Classic Christmas Tale, Good Direction, Decent Acting
svhot24 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"The Man Who Invented Christmas" is a great combination of the biopic and Christmas story genres. It can be considered a "mini-biopic" because it shows viewers a slice of the life of renowned writer Charles Dickens. The movie explores how the timeless story of "A Christmas Carol" got created in the mind of Charles Dickens. "A Christmas Carol" is the story that changed the way all of us view and enjoy our Christmas holidays.

Director Bharat Nalluri has done excellent work on this movie. First of all, the concept of combining a biopic with a timeless tale , is itself an intriguing idea. Bharat shows viewers how most of the writers and their creative minds work ; for instance , the characters of "A Christmas Carol" appear on screen and interact with Charles Dickens. It gives ordinary viewers an opportunity to experience how creative story-writers imagine, create and invent certain characters and situations. Bharat has also sweetly infused a certain amount of fun / comedy into the movie, which gives the classic tale (and atmosphere) a fresh touch.

Dan Stevens plays the timeless writer Charles Dickens. His performance is quite good. He conveys very well the different moods that Dickens went through at a time when he was experiencing financial difficulty, relationship problems, and the renovation of his home. Christopher Plummer is excellent as the Scrooge. Plummer has turned out to be a real scene-stealer (and show-stealer also) in this movie.

In conclusion, this movie very well blends a "mini-biopic" and the classic, timeless story of "A Christmas Carol", and freshens up the story with some comedy also. I would love to become a story-writer for movies because intriguing stories keep developing in my mind all the time ; stories that can achieve both critical and commercial success for the movie-makers. Employers can contact me at svhot34@gmail.com
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10/10
Two movies in one
jrwinkler-0949526 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
One one hand we have a story of the writing of "A Christmas Carol"... on the other... a story of Dickens own redemption... an immersive movie on it's first watching... even more so over coffee later as you begin to recognize and unravel the symbols and metaphors that run through it.

One of the best written and crafted pieces I've seen in ages...

... the raven is important...
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8/10
A lot of fun.
Zbigniew_Krycsiwiki30 November 2017
Film shows us a fictional, fairy tale- like approach to how Dickens wrote the story, his inspirations, his brainstorming, how he might have imagined the characters while he was writing, and most amusingly, how difficult it can be to write is depicted by Dickens characters themselves appearing in physical form, to playfully argue with him about plot points, and what their characters would and would not do.

Much more comedic than I expected, and that's a positive note about the film, with lead actor Dan Stevens hamming it up quite nicely, without over doing it, and Christopher Plummer a wonderfully​ grumpy Scrooge, without turning the character into a depressing old man.

Beautiful sets and​ costume design and lighting, too
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9/10
Delightful 10/10 movie
vikas554428 February 2018
This film will delight you. See it with family and friends. Without a second thought. Nothing is wrong about it.
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10/10
Christopher Plummer at his best...
rainworx20 February 2018
Possibly one of the best Dickens' movies i've ever seen...it reached the depths of possibility of how the story might have been conceived and born to page. Very well done and i loved it! Christopher Plummer at his best and the rest of the cast equal. Thank you
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a fairy tale
Kirpianuscus18 March 2018
Or, more exactly, a wise one. because it has humor and drama and bitter scenes and hopefull scenes. it is a genesis fantastic sketch of an admirable book but, in same measure, it is not a biographic film about Dickens being one. it is easy to define it as a delight. but it is a remember. about the life of a great witer. about the roots of a sort of perspective about life and people. and good kick to discover, again, the freshness of a work. the film has many virtues. it could be perceived as a charming easy film, like a comedy or a film for young public, colorfull and seductive and little superficial and unconvincing. but it is a real good film for to give to the public what it deserves. a brilliant cast and good performances. the fictional history of classic book, the difficulties of the existence of the writer. and something else. out of words. an answer, maybe. to the crisis of our time. short, it is , maybe, not the impressive film who you expect. but it is an usefull one. and that is the most significant virtue of it.
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5/10
Man Who Invented Christmas Disappoints Christmas Fans
mark-durfor15 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Marley was dead, to begin with, there is no doubt whatever about that." In December of 1843, struggling author Charles Dickens began his yuletide classic A Christmas Carol with this line. Known for his humor as much as his thought-provoking genius, Dickens spent the next paragraph comparing Marley's death to that of a door nail, then questioning whether that was an appropriate object and perhaps a coffin nail would have been more accurate. After three failed novels, Dickens struck gold with this timeless tale that has become as synonymous with Christmas as trees, lights, wise men, snowmen and Santa. The much-needed success of A Christmas Carol resurrected Dickens' career, not unlike the rebirth of Ebeneezer Scrooge after his night of ghostly visitors on Christmas Eve. The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the story of Dickens' inspiration for his holiday masterpiece.

After the huge success of Oliver Twist, Dickens has put out three failed novels in the last 16 months. He is broke. He and his wife have just moved into a larger house with their three children, housekeeper and nanny. The bills are piling up and his wife just informed him they have another child on the way. In two months, he must write and publish the book of his career, a Christmas story, to save his family. But Dickens has severe writer's block and matters are not made any better with his estranged parents moving in, drudging up painful memories of a less-than-pleasant childhood, the result of his father's financial irresponsibility.

Charles overhears his nanny Tara telling a traditional Irish Christmas tale to the rest of the children. It involves spirits that roam free on Christmas eve every year. That plants the first little seed of a story. After an event where Charles gave a speech, a rich attendee expressed some criticisms of his latest works. His objection was that the poor and the beggars and the pickpockets don't deserve a place in a novel, they should be in the workhouses. Charles rebuts that many would rather die. The response was that they had better get on with it and decrease the surplus population. The seed grew in his head.

That evening, he stumbles upon a graveyard where a man is burying his business partner. There are no friends, no family present and the man isn't upset by the loss. Two men with shovels are waiting nearby to toss in the dirt and Dickens overhears them comment that it's a shame the business partner had so much money and no one to share it with. As the man walks away from the grave, he spies Dickens looking on. He approaches Charles, stops, and utters just one word: "Humbug." And the seed took life. The story began to come and the characters came alive in his mind.

The Man Who Invented Christmas looked from the previews like it could potentially be a new underground Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol has been made and re-imagined several times. George C. Scott played Bob Cratchit in 1984. In 1988, Bill Murray played Xavier Cross in a twist on the classed of Scrooged. In 1992, the role was undertaken by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Christmas Carol. 2009 marked a fantastic animation put out by Disney with Jim Carrey in the lead role. I, myself, played the narrator in a radio production of A Christmas Carol in High School in the early 1990's. I said this could be an underground classic because I thought it might take a couple years to really take hold and be shown every year on TV during the holidays. After watching it though, I don't think this will become a Christmas classic at all as this movie fell far short of my expectations.

I thought that Dan Stevens delivered a humorous, genuine, heart-felt and energetic performance as Charles Dickens and Christopher Plummer was a brilliant Scrooge. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a Christmas story that has never been told before, though it is based on the story that has been told nearly as many times as the birth of Jesus in the manger. I'm a huge fan of all things Christmas but this was a disappointment. Dickens was a master storyteller using words to paint vivid images and creating characters who come to life off his pages. Unfortunately, and ironically, those are the two things that screen writer Susan Coyne lacked. Like Stevens and Nalluri, the majority of Coyne's previous work is from television. The Man Who Invented Christmas might have been too big for her to take on. Even within the film, we see how powerful a writer Dickens was. He shares some of his pages with Tara and she smiles uncontrollably and is also brought to tears as she can't bear the thought of Bob Cratchit losing Tiny Tim and believes there must be some good within Scrooge. Later in the film, Dickens is struggling with the ending of the story and the turning point for Scrooge. His best friend and business partner Mr. Chapman asks him some probing questions. What causes Scrooge to turn around? What's holding him back? Why is he the way he is? Who cares for him? Who does he care for? All questions that make a character relatable, three dimensional, and real. It doesn't seem these questions were asked of most of the characters in the movie about the man who did it better than almost anyone else throughout history.

Dickens was a successful author who chose to move into a larger house with all the bells and whistles. You felt worse about the chandelier than you did about his wife and three children. Dickens wrestled with his own Scrooge-like characteristics, but you weren't exactly rooting for him like you were for Scrooge towards the end of the book. You didn't feel sorry for his wife who felt neglected nor for Tara who was sent away after a temper tantrum. There was so much potential for this to be a great movie, but the lack of basics made it fail.

I gave The Man Who Invented Christmas a 4 Star Prediction. I'm going to lower that to 2.5 Stars. I'd probably watch it again if it was on TV. I doubt I'd rent it, and I'm sure I won't be adding this one to my collection.
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10/10
Clever and well-played
Luna_Scamander27 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As I walked out of the theater, I was thinking that I liked it, but as I thought about it over the next few hours--it just kept coming back to mind--I found that I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a very clever and creative movie, and I enjoyed the story behind a story.

Ups: Dan Stevens has appeared, to me, as a decent actor in the past, but here, he did beyond what I thought he could . As an author myself, I could relate to almost everything he did as Charles Dickens, whether it was writer's block, the enthusiasm for a new idea, or his objecting to people objecting to an idea he believed was perfect. The humor was great, and I loved how that while Charles Dickens was writing about a man that cared only about money, he was worried about money himself. While Scrooge has a transformation at the end, Charles Dickens does, too. After watching this, I immediately had my head filled with ideas for a book and felt encouraged to work on it!

Downs: Some parts were slightly confusing.

In the end, it really is a clever movie and is a memorable based-on-real- life story. It got me inspired and my juices going, but, while confusing and though not lacking, is not superior in every way possible and one of the best movies of all time. By itself, it is memorable.
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9/10
The Man Who Invented Christmas
cultfilmfan26 November 2017
The Man Who Invented Christmas, is an account whereas how much is purely fiction and how much is based on fact is completely unbeknownst to me, but it does make a very entertaining and at the same time heartwarming story of how author Charles Dickens came to write one of his most beloved stories, A Christmas Carol. The film takes place in the mid 1800's and Charles has just had a string of unsuccessful books and is badly in need of a bestseller and yet unfortunately he is currently having a bad bout of writer's block and no inspiration, or ideas seem to be forthcoming. As the Christmas season approaches and while Charles has various stresses as well as pressures of everyday life going on around him not only in his home and with his family, but with the mounting pressure of having to come up with the next big story and also find a way to pay the bills and keep the family afloat with some of their more lavish living and a new baby on the way as well. However as the tension builds, Charles eventually starts to get inspiration from the various people in his life from complete strangers he has chance encounters with to as well considering his own past and his relationship with his father. These spark ideas of a story set at Christmas and with various influences as well as based on the negativity and bitter spirit of those he meets in the street who seem to have much contempt and no empathy whatsoever of the homeless and the growing problem of poverty that surrounds the country, he then comes up with his lead character that will forever live on in infamy both on page and the screen with the name of Ebenezer Scrooge. Whilst Charles is trying to put the perfect story together, visions of the characters he has created narrate and show him visions of where the story should go as well as getting inspiration and insight from the everyday people in his life. This is not giving anything away, but we all know how the story eventually turns out, but an interesting side note to pay attention to is the creative process of writing and of Charles Dickens himself. Again, I have no idea how factual the information here really is, but like I mentioned earlier, it still makes for a very watchable and interesting film. Charles is plagued with writers block and at times he can be a ferocious beast to the ones around him including his own family and the people who serve and are loyal to him. Also whilst writing this new story and Scrooge coming to his eventual epiphany of living a different life than the cold, miserly and selfish one he once lead, this will eventually also touch Charles and elements of his own life and he will eventually come to the realization that perhaps he has been distant from his own family and loved ones and missed what is truly important in life as well as perhaps being just as cold and heartless as the character who he is writing. This is a perfect family film as it captures not necessarily the true meaning behind Christmas as few films really do, but it does show a sense of loving your neighbour and being kind to others and I think that in itself is a noble enough thing and something that will hopefully touch and shatter even the most hardened of hearts. We see how through his fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge, how he eventually learns more than anything else is how to love, be charitable and help your fellow man. Charles whatever he was like in reality makes an interesting counter point to the Scrooge character and drives home a valuable lesson here as well as making it's subject matter entertaining and well done technically as a film as well as boasting some excellent cinematography and it's attention to detail for that time period is exquisite and seems to have been excellently researched and developed. The acting is all very good here as well and allows for times of both laughter as well as more touching and humane moments as well. The cast who for me were mostly newcomers who I was unfamiliar with all do a serviceable job here and should definitely be commended on a job well done. As far as modern Christmas films go this is definitely one of the better ones to have come out lately and it succeeds not just because of the warmth it gives, but also championing the spirit of love and goodwill to your fellow man as well as being a film that is appropriate for the whole family and also one that all should enjoy. For these merits alone this film is one to see during this Christmas season and should be a staple on television as well on Christmases to come become it definitely has the potential to become a classic.
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10/10
Charming
kesakb15 May 2018
I have read most of Dickens' work and a couple of biographies. This film is well done, imaginative and very entertaining. It doesn't need to be factual to be enjoyed.
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9/10
"The man who brought Christmas to the World"
JackieHarris7 January 2018
To "The man who brought Christmas to the world", Charles Dickens and his familiy, I love it! and to all, thank you for making the film. I can't wait to buy it. Jackie Harris
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10/10
Wonderfully Done
reviewergirl7 January 2018
My 13 year-old son and I both thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I'm so glad that we went to see it. I loved how creatively this was told with Charles Dickens' characters coming to life the way they did. The actor who portrayed Charles Dickens did an outstanding job. The roles were wonderfully cast throughout the entire movie. Every actor did a wonderful job. The boy who played Dickens as a child was outstanding as well. Thank you for making such a great movie! Movies based on true stories are the best. I do agree with other reviewers who stated the movie would have benefited from a different title.
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7/10
An interesting spin on a classic Christmas tale; charming, interesting and surprisingly enjoyable.
Pjtaylor-96-13804410 December 2017
By spinning the classic 'Christmas Carol' on its head and telling it through the lens of its author, this indeterminately accurate bio- pic transposes the core morals of Dickens' source story onto an entertainingly embellished yarn of his own life with a focus on how he came to craft the now well-known and seemingly obvious novella and, while the feature does fall flat on the odd occasion its sentimentality (or indeed its ham-fisted love for 'Christmas spirit') overthrows all else or when it seems to squeeze the life from its 'Dickens as Scrooge' metaphors, its an incredibly entertaining and endearing piece of work which is actually at its best when acting as a more traditional entry in the genre, showcasing the central author's passion for his craft and struggles with writer's block as he tries to write a story that's both deeply personal to him and important for the economic climate in which he finds himself; the piece can occasionally seem slightly 'TV- movie' and it's still pretty 'paint-by-numbers' despite its unique premise and plot-elements, but its flaws weren't all that noticeable thanks mainly to how charming and interesting it all was - plus, Plummer makes a great Scrooge and Stevens was fantastic too. 7/10
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