The holiday season kicks off this week, and it brings with it an assortment of books and movies to get you in the spirit. First up is an adaptation of The Man Who Invented Christmas, which hits theaters on November 22. Based on Les Standiford’s 2008 book, The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the story of how Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. Equal parts magical and heartwarming, this inventive biopic is sure to become an instant holiday classic. We’ve rounded up key things to know about The Man Who Invented Christmas movie below.
1. The trailer will get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
The characters of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol are already as familiar as family to many of us who grew up reading the story during the holiday season. The Man Who Invented Christmas brings these characters — like Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim — to life in a quirky way, adding a new perspective and sharp wit to the beloved story.
2. The movie has a lot of star power to make it a holiday standout.
The stellar cast includes Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as the author Dickens; the legendary Christopher Plummer plays Dickens’s Scrooge; and Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) stars as Dickens’s father, John. Plus, Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Amadeus), who plays the character Leech, is a Dickens scholar who has even written a book about the author.
3. Dickens used real-life inspirations for some of his characters.
The characters of A Christmas Carol were inspired by both Dickens’s imagination and by real-life people he knew. For instance, member of Parliament John Elwes was the inspiration for Scrooge. The Man Who Invented Christmas brings the characters to life to interact with Dickens in inspiring and amusing ways.
4. Dan Stevens did extensive research to prepare for his role as Charles Dickens.
Stevens brings Dickens to life in a way we’ve never seen him portrayed before — director Bharat Nalluri describes him as “jubilant, dynamic and exciting.” Stevens added, “This isn’t a reverential biopic. It’s the story of a gifted artist’s creative drive and the pressure he puts on himself to produce.”
5. A childhood fan of A Christmas Carol, director Nalluri has an unusual take on the classic novel.
Best known for directing action and science fiction, Nalluri was asked why he was drawn to directing a historical film like The Man Who Invented Christmas. “In a way, A Christmas Carol is an adventurous bit of sci-fi,” Nalluri said.
“I have been fascinated with A Christmas Carol since first reading it as a child,” Nalluri added. “Since making the movie and immersing myself in all things Dickensian, I have become an evangelist.”
6. Critics agree that the film is worth watching this holiday season.
The Man Who Invented Christmas has a lot to live up to if it wants to share the spotlight with other classic Christmas films. But the reviews are rolling in, and it seems like Christmas will make the cut. Variety calls it “a rather fine addition to the Christmas-movie canon,” and Hollywood Reporter says the film is “far from humbug.” The Washington Post says, “God has blessed us, every one, with Dan Stevens, who inhabits the character of Dickens beautifully,” and Forbes says, “[T]he film deftly blends adaptation and biopic into one… [A] fast-moving family film that tells Dickens’s original story.”
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