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How ‘Redemption’ Drives One of the Most Popular Christmas Stories

Poster courtesy of MMPA

How ‘Redemption’ Drives One of the Most Popular Christmas Stories

By Movieguide® Staff

Lead star Dan Stevens and director Bharat Nalluri tackle the powerful story of how author Charles Dickens wrote the timeless Christmas story, A Christmas Carol, in THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS.

A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads:

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS is a thoroughly delightful, enthralling movie about how Charles Dickens crafted the beloved Christmas classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL. A year after he wraps up a crowd-pleasing tour in America, Dickens finds himself overwhelmed with debt. He desperately needs to write another hit. Miraculously, he happens upon the idea for A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but the publishers say Christmas books aren’t popular. So, he decides to finance the book himself. Meanwhile, his irresponsible father shows up on his doorstep. Can Dickens finish his book in time for Christmas? Can his father reconcile with his son?

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS is full of laughter, tears and brilliance. Dan Stevens gives a magnificent, exuberant performance as Charles Dickens. Funny, ingenious scenes show Dickens interacting with characters from A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Heartfelt scenes show Dickens trying to come to terms with his own miserly attitude toward his own father. THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS is a brilliant celebration of the Christmas spirit, one of the best Christmas movies ever made. Some scary scenes warrant caution for younger children, however.

According to Stevens, who plays the role of the author in the movie, and Nalluri, Dickens’ holiday story of redemption reflected much of his real life.

“Unpicking the lock of the Christmas Carol teaches him about redemption,” Stevens told Movieguide®. “The idea that somebody that we might regard as mean or reckless can be redeemed and I think the hope that he finds in that story in our film translates into a generosity of spirit towards his father and his mother that he didn’t always show because the shadow of what happened to his father, being thrown into debtors prison and him having to go off to the workhouse, that really did loom large over his whole life.”

Stevens said that while movie shows the tension that Dicken’s hunger to create and write had on his family, they wanted to honor his love for his family.

“He clung very tightly to his own creativity in this fire that was clearly burning within him, even if sometimes it was the wrong flame,” Stevens explained. “He really treasured his children and treasured his family even though his creative process put his marriage under great strain at times.”

“His ability to bring forth these these massive ideas that he had going on, he saw
social injustice on a really epic scale at a time when people weren’t fully getting it and the value of that and the responsibility that you felt to that really I think drove him quite fiercely,” he added.

Despite the hardships that Dickens experienced as a result of his father, he repeats a phrase his father tells him in the movie: “No man is worthless, if he can lighten the burden of another.”

“That’s the moment of hope that turns the story for him,” Stevens said. “That enables him to sort of transform Scrooge and transform himself at the end of the film.”