Christmas has come early, at least for some folks who like what they see in the first trailer for The Man Who Invented Christmas. However, despite the fact that Bleecker Street rolled out Christopher Plummer (who plays Scrooge in this film and turns 88 this December) to smooth over any resistance to this trailer, there will be those who say “Humbug” to this take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
I’m … weirdly in the middle of this divide. On the coal side of things, this movie has a terrible title that’s likely to both piss people off and fail to get the movie’s conceit across, the premise of an “origin story” for a piece of beloved pop culture is both unasked-for and over-done, and the tone of this thing is more saccharine than a candy cane. On the sugar plum side, it’s tough to find a fresh angle on “A Christmas Carol” after nearly 175 years in existence so The Man Who Invented Christmas earns bonus points here, plus the idea of putting Dickens’ classic characters in the same space with him on the screen is certainly novel. How well it all works out remains to be seen.
Starring Dan Stevens as Dickens, The Man Who Invented Christmas arrives November 22nd. Check out the first trailer below:
Discover the true story of how Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” and created a holiday tradition. THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce, opens in theaters November 22.
A couple of final thoughts: I’m a Christmas Carol junkie, so I’ll probably be checking this out regardless of reviews and adjusting my rankings accordingly. Also, don’t you dare consider this thing as “historically accurate.” While it serves the dramatic arc to portray Dickens as a struggling writer who just needed that one big break to make it in this mixed-up, crazy Victorian era, that’s not the truth. Dude was doing fine. He’d had a string of successful monthly and weekly serial stories that not only put money in his pockets, but also elevated him to popularity among readers of different classes around the world. He had actually just returned from America, in part to argue against illegal copyright infringement of his work there due to his rising international fame, before settling in to work on A Christmas Carol back in England. So if you want a historically accurate documentary, look elsewhere; if you want a spin on A Christmas Carol, this movie should at least be something we haven’t seen before.
Take a look at some images and the poster for The Man Who Invented Christmas below.