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The Man Who Invented Christmas

Rated Parental Guidance (Mature Subject Matter) ~ Runs 104 minutes

Dir.: Bharat Nalluri, Ireland/Canada

Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Miriam Margolyes

“You’ll come for the promise - fulfilled - of excellent production design and a feast of fabulous British thespians, but you’ll stay for the surprisingly engaging story. The Man Who Invented Christmas took me by surprise in all the right ways. It’s a delight. Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) plays Charles Dickens... It’s 1843 and Dickens is famous and seemingly wealthy, with a lovely London house teeming with life - a lovely large family, servants, tradesmen. But he’s had three flops in a row and he needs a hit. Lo and behold, to guide him through the writing of his new book, a Christmas fable ultimately to be called A Christmas Carol, the characters come to life (at least for him), most notably Scrooge, played deliciously by Christopher Plummer... That fantastical element works well, but it is the warmth of Dickens’ relationships with the real people in his busy life that gives the film so much generous spirit... As for that production design: it’s wonderful! The London depicted here is teeming with urchins, chimney sweeps, musicians, carriages and all manner of businesses, many of which are wittily named... And those thespians? How about - besides Stevens, Plummer and Edwards - Jonathan Pryce, Miriam Margolyes, Donald Sumpter, Simon Callow, Morfydd Clark, and about two dozen other faces you’ll recognise even if you don’t know their names? Margolyes and Callow both routinely tour one-person Dickens shows, a terrific piece of gentle meta-humour of which Dickens would approve, as he would, I am sure, of this lovely movie.” - CJ Johnson, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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January 20