“The Man Who Invented Christmas” (Bleecker Street)

Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer star in a scene from the movie "The Man Who Invented Christmas." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Bleecker Street)

By Catholic News Service

This charming fact-based historical drama tells the origin story of Victorian author Charles Dickens’ (Dan Stevens) beloved novella, “A Christmas Carol.”

With his last three titles having failed to sell, Dickens fears falling into debt if his next production is equally unpopular. As he struggles with writer’s block and the endless distractions of his burgeoning family’s domestic life — a visit from his feckless father (Jonathan Pryce), whom Dickens blames for the sufferings of his childhood, is a particular source of worry and conflict — the writer fancifully summons up and interacts with his own characters, most prominently dour miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer). His patient wife (Morfydd Clark) and unpaid literary agent (Justin Edwards) offer him encouragement, and the conversion story he eventually pens finds a real-life counterpart in the amendment of Dickens’ own behavior.

Director Bharat Nalluri’s adaptation of Les Standiford’s 2008 book is family-friendly in most respects and will likely prove a winner with a broad range of age groups.

A very vague sexual joke, a single mild oath. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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