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891. The Man Who Invented Christmas

Published December 15, 2018

Title: The Man Who Invented Christmas Director: Bharat Nalluri Year: 2017 Run time: 1hr 44m

“In 1843, Dickens was a literal rock star, but struggling financially after the slow sales of his previous novel, Martin Chuzzlewit. Seized with the vision of a story that would fire the hearts of humanity, Dickens pitched his publishers A Christmas Carol, but they passed. Desperate, Dickens declared he would publish it himself. Slipping into the world of his novel, he spent the next six weeks laughing and arguing with his characters, acting out scenes like a madman on the streets of London for hours on end.”

Live blog

1:28 - Love Dan Stevens, never pictured him as Charles Dickens before, though. 3:48 - You also don’t think of such prolific people having writer’s block. 6:10 - Refers to his kids as “little strangers.” Like it. 11:11 - People that thrive on the misfortunes of others. 14:20 - “Debt is an ogre, Kate, if you’re not careful, it will eat you up.” 18:21 - You can almost see the Muppets taking shape in his mind. 22:28 - “Short and sharp, a hammer-blow to this self-satisfied age.” 27:03 - Oliver Twisted? What’s that? 36:24 - “Oh, Mr Scrooge, you and I are going to do great things together.” Yes, they bloody are. 39:23 - Fettered is a good word. 43:34 - Wait, Simon Callow is in this? Talking to Dickens? My brain has exploded. 54:42 - Tara, eh? 59:27 - It’s amazing how accurate the descriptions are that all depictions of the ghosts are vaguely the same. 1:03:25 - I’m loving “too long a day” as a code for “drunk.” 1:11:15 - “You’re a freak of nature, I’m exhausted spending two hours in your company” Is that his pep talk? 1:18:14 - “I say a lot of nonsense things when I’m working.” 1:29:24 - Paddington Station! 1:32:23 - So, hold the phone. Was Charles Dickens the first proper self-publisher?

Conclusions

Let’s start at the beginning, Mr C is absolutely fuming at the title and it’s fair to say that the movie is mis-named. Charlie didn’t invent Christmas, more like brought it back into fashion.

Once, and if, you can get past that, it’s a good film. It felt like a bit of a slow start, the first twenty minutes give Dickens the idea for the book in the first place and you’re like ‘so, we’re just going to watch him write a book for the next hour?’ but of course there’s more to it than that.

Love Dan Stevens and he’s surrounded by a fantastic cast who somehow get to inhabit the world of Dickens and the world of Scrooge. It did sort of just make me want to watch the Muppets again, but take nothing away from this, it was a great film.

Rating: 4/5.

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