Hola Dannie aqui!
"The Man Who Invented Chrismas" was a phenomenal journey into the troubled and creative genius of Charles Dickens. The film was a whirlwind of emotions, I laughed, I cried, and I believed every moment of frustration and elation.
Director Bharat Nalluri ("The Crow: Salvation" from 2000, "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" from 2008, and "Tsunami: The Aftermath") must be truly proud of this film, the film has already won an award at the Heartland Film Festival, Indiana's largest and longest-running film festival bestowed the "Truly Moving Picture Award", and I agree one hundred percent.
The film is based on the book written by Les Standiford, which after seeing the film I am inspired to read. The screenwriter on the film was Susan Coyne (2016's T.V. movie "Anne of Green Gables"), I can only imagine the challenge and delight of penning this project.
The story focuses on the toils of creation, writer's block, everyday life, and family disturbing Charles Dickens regularly whenever inspiration strikes, the moody and mad nature of creation and the creator are illustrated eloquently.
The actor challenged with the role of Charlie Dickens was Dan Stevens you may recognize from televisions "Downton Abbey" and Marvel's kick ass show "Legion" or perhaps his performance as the Beast from the 2017 hit film "Beauty and the Beast". Again like in "Legion" he is playing a role in which he sees people that are not there, flirting with madness you may say. The character of Dickens is haunted by fame, finances, and a traumatic childhood. After his success with Oliver Twist, he rose to the heights of the literary community, only to have his three follow up novels flop. He needed another hit book, for financial and mental reasons. In the wake of this monetary mourning, he begins to form the idea of a Christmas ghost story, inspired by his children's nannies Irish folk tales. He travels the streets fishing for character inspiration, and eventually after toiling away with the quiver in hand the name that would grace the pages came, and like a haunting phantasm 'Ebenezer Scrooge' appears to him in all his greedy, grumpy, selfish, and truly capitalistic nature.
Christopher Plummer is Scrooge! His performance is epically iconic, in my opinion, the best Ebenezer ever! I loved every second of the intimidating Plutocrat! Who at times his dry crotchety cruel demeanor was met with hilarious laughter, by the audience in response to his constant bickering with his "creator". The dialog and charisma between the characters whisked my mind through a myriad of emotions. I loved hating Scrooge, then felt true pity for the fool. Christopher Plummer started his acting career in 1953 in television and film and has been nominated for a billion awards and took home the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for the 2010 film "Beginners". His performance in this film is very award-worthy and unforgettable.
The complex character of Charlie Dickens father John was given to actor Jonathan Pryce. John Dickens was a well-meaning, kind, creative, inspirational and financial failure throughout Charlie's life. In a time of debtors prisons and child workhouses, this was an incredibly dangerous time to lose one's frugality. Pryce does a poignant performance, both inspiring love, and loathing. We all have complex feelings about our parents, and this film illustrates the love/hate dichotomy between Charles and John. There are many heartbreaking moments in this film, and Pryce's parts were almost all heartbreakingly inspirational. The character reminded me of my own Father, so the floodgates known as my eyes were opened fully. I grew up loving Pryce mainly because of his bad ass performance in the cinematic masterpiece "Brazil". Many may recognize him from "Game of Thrones" as the 'High Sparrow' but his career is long and lucrative I sincerely suggest checking out his history as well as Mr. Plummer's.
Watching the creative workings, and seeing Charles being stalked by his character's insistence on existence was truly delightfully disturbing. The story concept was magical, educational and inspiring. All of the performances were out-fucking-standing. I will be taking the entire family to see this one and cannot recommend this film enough. The screening I went to had two rows dedicated to the press and there were many, many empty seats. I know a screening for "Coco" was happening at the same time across town, I imagine that's where the bulk of the critics were. Man did all of them miss out, I hope this review inspires some to give this modern reinterpretation of a timeless masterpiece a chance, as it is truly an entertaining, emotional and enlightening voyage into the 1840's and the mind of self-publishing literary genius Charles Dickens.
Stay Strong, Live Good, Love Movies!
Dannie aka Pekosa Peligrosa