Both predictable yet not exactly a holiday retread, The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) is a nice break from all the maudlin Christmas programming out there in that it’s somewhat historical and threads the moralism lightly through an entertainingly aggravating case of writer’s block. You know where the story is going to go, but it’s fun watching Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) take us there in his foppy wig and flashy cravats.
The gist of the movie is accurate — Charles Dickens did write A Christmas Carol in a ‘white heat’ of six weeks, self-published, at a loss. This followed a couple commercial failures, so his household had money troubles, plus his wife was pregnant with their fifth child. The flashbacks to Dickens’ childhood are accurate, and his father was thrown into debtors’ jail, causing Charles to leave school and work at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse. And yes, he often picked up names and traits from people he encountered and included them in his stories.
So it’s easy enough to paste all this together into the tale of how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, complete with various of his fictional characters coming to life to “tell” him how the book should be and how it reflects parts of Dickens own past.
Will you add this to your Dickens-esque holiday viewing?