The Man Who Invented Christmas, based on the book by Les Standiford, is a fictional portrayal of how Charles Dickens (played by Dan Stevens) wrote his famous story, A Christmas Carol.
The films starts with Dickens on an American tour following his gargantuan success as a writer. Soon after, we learn of the decline in his reputation and financial security as book after book flops commercially.
In need of money, Dickens goes to his publisher, hoping to release a book to keep him and his family in the comfortable, luxurious life they’ve become so used to.
He has an idea for a Christmas book, which in those times were few and far between, because Christmas was viewed by most as a minor and irritating holiday. His publisher rejects it, so Dickens decides to write and publish it himself in the six-week lead up to Christmas.
The focus of the film are the relationships in Charles’ life, specifically those he can’t seem to maintain very well. At one point he finds himself in a situation where he’s comparable to Scrooge (portrayed by Christopher Plummer), one of the many characters that are brought life throughout the film to represent his creative process.
Overall it’s a pretty formula that uses the same redemption arc and character templates we’ve been become very familiar with over the years. You know what to expect and The Man Who Invented Christmas delivers. If you’re looking for an accessible feel-good movie you can’t go far wrong with this.
The Man Who Invented Christmas opens nationally on the 30 Nov.