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The Man Who Invented Christmas

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Ireland, Canada

2017

Rated PG • 1h 45m

Director Bharat Nalluri

Starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Justin Edwards

Genre Comedy, Drama, History

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In 1843, despite the fact that Dickens is a successful writer, the failure of his latest book puts his career at a crossroads, until the moment when, searching for inspiration and confronting childhood memories, a new character is born. This character, a bitter and lonely old man, is so vivid and so human, and his story so inspiring, that they would change the meaning of Christmas forever.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

As a portrait of an author on the verge of a breakthrough, this is a run-of-the-mill, occasionally clumsy biopic; as for contextualizing Christmas, it never explains how it functioned before Dickens and only briefly mentions how it changed after him.
40

The New York Times by Ben Kenigsberg

Brightly lit and anchored by Mr. Stevens’s infectious, live-wire performance, the film, directed by Bharat Nalluri (“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”), nevertheless proceeds like a television holiday special, designed to distract children while winking at their parents.
25

Slant Magazine by Eric Henderson

Since “humbug” is already spoken for by Ebenezer Scrooge, “opportunistic” would be the most apt word for The Man Who Invented Christmas.
80

Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

The Man Who Invented Christmas is a jaunty, amusing patchwork of truths, half-truths and pure fiction that cleverly combine to recount the story of the whirlwind creation of Charles Dickens' famed novella "A Christmas Carol."
70

Variety by Peter Debruge

In addition to being a rather fine addition to the Christmas-movie canon, the film marks a useful teaching tool — a better option for classroom screenings than any of the previous “Carol” adaptations, once students have finished reading the novella.
40

Screen International by Tim Grierson

The more that Nalluri tries to connect Dickens’ personal breakthroughs to those of his fictional character, the less authentic it feels. Inadvertently, this forgettable bauble ends up illustrating just how rare and precious true inspiration is.

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