For the first time in around ten years, I recently re-read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a group of friends, and I was surprised at how much I’d mis-remembered or plain forgotten about it. Mostly, I was reminded how beautifully it was written and just how dark, powerful, and revolutionary a story it is. Dickens catches a lot of flack—rightly so, at times—for “padding” his stories, but A Christmas Carol is lean and efficient.
Inspired by that re-read, my wife and I watched this movie tonight, The Man Who Invented Christmas, a somewhat fictionalized account of Dickens’ conception and composition of A Christmas Carol in just about six weeks. This one’s a real treat for anyone who loves the original story, or for any writer who’s ever felt beleaguered by their characters. The entire cast is excellent, but Dan Stevens as Dickens and Christopher Plummer as Scrooge are, unsurprisingly, the best of the lot.