There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave cynical audiences annoyed. But for those who leave their bah-humbug attitudes at home, it's a wonderfully entertaining take on a classic. In 1843, when Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, the holiday was a fairly low-key religious festival. But the book helped create a cultural phenomenon that is still growing. And this enjoyable film recounts how it was written in six short weeks.
At the time, Dickens (Legion's Dan Stevens) was Britain's most famous author. But his last three novels failed to sell. Desperate for a hit due to financial pressures, he decides to write a Christmas book, something that had never really been done. But he's distracted by the fact that his wife Kate (Morfydd Clark) is pregnant and his parents (Jonathan Pryce and Ger Ryan) have dropped in for a noisy visit. As he plans this new book, the central figure of Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) is inspired by someone he meets, as are the rest of the story's characters and settings. But he's struggling to complete the tale, and time is running short.
The film basically proves the resilience of Dickens' iconic novella, because it has remarkable power even when turned inside-out by this script. Director Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) gives the film a twinkly, often comical tone but doesn't shy away from the darker corners or some strongly emotional moments. And the script includes quite a bit of biographical detail about Dickens' life without making it too melodramatic. With his book, Dickens wanted to address Britain's harsh labour practices and the greediness of capitalism, urging people to be kinder to each other. So he reinvented Christmas as a time of year to reach out to those less fortunate.
Continue reading: The Man Who Invented Christmas Review
Joey Jones has been living on the streets for a while, but after receiving a particularly bad beating by some street thugs, he decides to re-build his life once and for all. Breaking into another person's home, he changes his identity and scrubs up (quite literally) in order to get a as a chef and security guard at a London restaurant. His help ridding the eatery of any problems they might have with his swift fighting skills motivates his boss to offer him a new job which leaves him more better off than he's ever been. He decides to set out on a mission to help the poverty stricken community in which he once lived, a decision that is dramatically increased by the murder of his best friend Isabel. However, as much as he wants to use his newfound money to help those in need, he wants more than anything to start a new life and finally get away from his past.
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After being particularly badly beaten while living on the streets, Joey Jones is determined to get his life back on track. He is ex-special forces on the run from military court so when he finds the opportunity to transform into another person, he grabs it with both hands. Working as a chef in a London restaurant, he also acts as security using his specialist skills to overpower any trouble that might come their way. When his boss offers some new kind of work, he decides that he must do everything in his power to help people whose lives have been destroyed by poverty, especially when he is informed of the brutal death of one of his closest friends. However, he is torn between his desire to help those in need, and run away and start over his own life in a new place.
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