For as well known as is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, The Man Who Invented Christmas is an entirely new perspective on the Charles Dickens we mostly pictured in our minds as a stately older man. Dan Stevens brings this intriguing and marvelous character to life in a way we’ve probably not imagined. Sharp, successful, and famous, young Dickens is the rock star of his era, but in this midlife moment, he fears he’s lost his touch. The film tell us the story of how the people around him, both real and imagined, inspired him to act on his conviction, and change the world forever.
The Man Who Invented Christmas focuses on the crazy six weeks during which Dickens wrote and self-published A Christmas Carol. The filmmakers envisioned a screenplay that presented Dickens as a modern man: flawed, fierce and funny all at the same time. Writer Susan Coyne delivered a playful narrative in which Dickens interacts with his fictional characters as he gives birth to the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. And thanks to Director Bharat Nalluri we get to be absorbed into this legendary creative mind – and it’s a riot.
We see him in this odd collaboration – or therapy session – with his cast of characters, discussing the storyline. They’re arguing! One of the best moments is when Dickens is struggling with the storyline and he complains to his agent, “They won’t do what I tell them to do!” Dickens’ “relationship” with Scrooge, beautifully played by Christopher Plummer, makes us love them both even more.
This marvelous film is sure to become a Christmas staple in our home. The movie gives us a deeper appreciation for A Christmas Carol and now I want to make a bigger deal out of that tradition! The story is redemptive on several levels, and through Dickens’ own journey into his childhood to heal his own pain, he delivers a tale that explores redemption that touches all of our lives.