* * *
(How Dickens wrote
“A Christmas Carol”)

Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens in this clever little movie about how the celebrated English author supposedly wrote his famous novella, “A Christmas Carol.” It seems that Dickens had written three flops in a row and was much in need of a hit to keep his large family out of the poor house.
His inspiration comes from the ghost of Scrooge, played brilliantly by Christopher Plummer, who appears to him as he struggles for an idea and stays with him through the writing process. He also has a little help from his best friend and his young maid as he wanders the streets of London, observing what people are doing and saying.
My advice is to either read the novella or go see Trinity Rep’s version of “A Christmas Carol” and then see the movie.
The movie cleverly picks up on many of the familiar lines that we remember, such as “Are there no prisons” and “decrease the surplus population.” Dickens’ writer’s block provides the tension as he must meet the publisher’s deadline and get the book published before Christmas. The author deals with his demons while dealing with his own past and deadbeat dad.
If you are a Dickens fan and live for some version of “A Christmas Carol” every year, you should enjoy this one. Rated PG, with nothing to worry about with the kids, although they may be bored at times.


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