The Man Who Invented Christmas (film)

The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Man Who Invented Christmas.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBharat Nalluri
Produced by
  • Robert Mickelson
  • Ian Sharples
  • Paula Mazur
  • Mitchell Kaplan
  • Andrew Karpen
  • Vadim Jean
Written bySusan Coyne
Based onThe Man Who Invented Christmas
by Les Standiford
Music byMychael Danna
CinematographyBen Smithard
Edited by
  • Stephen O'Connell
  • Jamie Pearson
Distributed by
Release date
  • 22 November 2017 (2017-11-22) (Canada)
Running time
104 minutes[2]
  • Ireland
  • Canada
Box office$8.1 million[3]

The Man Who Invented Christmas is a 2017 biographical drama film directed by Bharat Nalluri and written by Susan Coyne based on the book of the same name by Les Standiford. It stars Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, and Jonathan Pryce. The plot follows Charles Dickens (Stevens) at the time when he wrote A Christmas Carol, and how Dickens' fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge (Plummer) was influenced by his real-life father, John Dickens (Pryce).

It was released by Bleecker Street in the United States on 22 November 2017[4] and in the United Kingdom on 1 December 2017.[5]


In 1843, two years after the success of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) is suffering financial hardship from the failure of his last three books. Rejected by his publishers, he sets out to write a new book, and publish it himself, to restore his finances. Seeing inspiration around London, most notably a rich man's funeral that is largely unattended, he begins writing A Christmas Carol, due in six weeks in order to be published by Christmas. As Charles develops the story, he interacts with the characters that manifest in front of him, most notably Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer). Dickens is helped by one of his servants, Tara, a literate Irish servant, whom he discusses story elements with.

While writing his book, Charles is greeted by the arrival of his father, John Dickens (Jonathan Pryce), whom Charles views as immature and fiscally irresponsible. When Charles shows Tara the next draft, she is distraught that Scrooge would not save Tiny Tim. Tara believes that people can change and suggests instead that Scrooge saves Tiny Tim. However, Charles is unable to believe that a man as cold as Scrooge could change. He rejects the notion but it continues to haunt him in the form of writer's block. Charles' relationship with his family increasingly strains as he struggles with Scrooge's ending, until he sends both his parents and Tara out of the house in a fit of rage.

It is revealed that much of Charles' animosity towards his father is from his childhood embarrassment of working in a blacking factory after his family was taken to debtor's prison. Returning to the long-abandoned factory, Charles is forced to confront his own insecurities through Scrooge. Charles realizes that his story should be one of redemption and races home to finish his manuscript. As he leaves to submit it to his printer, he encounters Tara and invites her back. His wife suggests he do the same with his father, who is about to board a train to leave London. Reconnecting with his family, Charles submits the manuscript in time for publishing before Christmas. The film ends with the Dickens family celebrating the holidays, while a title text explains the overnight success of A Christmas Carol and its lasting impact on the Christmas holiday.


Release and reception

The film was released in the United States in 500 theaters on 22 November 2017.[6]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 153 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale."[7] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 60 out of 100, based 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
Saturn Awards 27 June 2018 Best International Film The Man Who Invented Christmas Nominated [9]


  1. ^ "Opening Gala: The Man Who Invented Christmas". Cork Film Festival. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. November 21, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (November 7, 2016). "Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer To Star In Charles Dickens Tale 'The Man Who Invented Christmas'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Dingle, Jon (September 23, 2017). "The Man Who Invented Christmas UK Release Date Announced". Filmoria. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 20, 2017). "Can 'Coco' Whip 'Justice League' For Top Spot Over Thanksgiving Stretch? – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.

External links

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