Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary screening of The Man Who Invented Christmas. All opinions are my own.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is the story of Charles Dickens and his creation of the iconic A Christmas Carol. At first glance of this description, that may sound completely dry and boring. A movie about Charles Dickens? Nah, I’m good.
Y’all, this is SUCH a funny and warmhearted movie! Dickens is played charmingly by Dan Stevens (known from Downton Abbey as well as Beauty and the Beast). After receiving critical acclaim with his novel Oliver Twist, Dickens suffers through the disappointing sales and reviews of his next three books. With the pressure mounting, Dickens is the victim of a nasty case of Writer’s Block.
Thanks to various inspirations he receives around London and in his own home, he starts to formulate a story. How? Characters start coming alive to him, start telling him their story. Christopher Plummer makes a perfect Scrooge, both scornful and remorseful.
As A Christmas Carol unfolds to Dickens, the story of Dickens’ childhood unfolds to us as well. Many of the Dickens novels feature families in poverty and discord; Dickens wrote about what he knew. As The Man Who Invented Christmas works its way through the creation of A Christmas Carol we are given a glimpse into the childhood that shaped Dickens’ adult life. The best part? Scrooge accompanies Dickens during many of these memories.
It’s hard to imagine that Christmas has not always been the festive and important holiday that it is today. But in the England of Charles Dickens, that sacred holiday was treated as just another day to most of the population. The publication of A Christmas Carol changed that irrevocably.
While there isn’t anything in this movie that young kids shouldn’t see, I wouldn’t recommend bringing them along. I feel like much of the story would be lost on them and they might be uninterested. For a frame of reference, I wouldn’t take my nine year old to see it but I think my teenagers would really enjoy it. Dan Stevens brings so much life and humor to his portrayal of Dickens.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is the perfect way to get in the holiday mood if you find yourself channeling your inner Scrooge. It’s playing in select theaters nationwide; check here to see the closest location to you!
The Man Who Invented Christmas is 104 minutes and is rated PG.