The Man Who Invented Christmas (film)

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The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Man Who Invented Christmas.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bharat Nalluri
Produced by
  • Robert Mickelson
  • Ian Sharples
  • Paula Mazur
  • Mitchell Kaplan
  • Andrew Karpen
  • Vadim Jean
Written by Susan Coyne
Based on The Man Who Invented Christmas
by Les Standiford
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography Ben 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
Language English
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]


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 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 begins to develop his story, he interacts with the characters he is writing about, most notably Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer). Helping Dickens is one of his servants, Tara, an Irish immigrant who is literate and able to provide advice.

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. Charles' relationship with his family is increasingly strained as he struggles to finish the book in time, as he is unable to resolve Scrooge's story. Hearing that Charles intends to let Tiny Tim die, Tara suggests a resolution for Scrooge by having him save Tiny Tim instead. Charles rejects her help, and soon sends her away from his house in a fit of rage. Additionally, Charles has a falling out with his father and sends him away upon learning that he has been selling Charles' signature.

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 illustrator, 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[edit]

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

Critical response[edit]

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 20 November 2017.
  2. ^ "THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  3. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (7 November 2016). "Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer To Star In Charles Dickens Tale 'The Man Who Invented Christmas'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  5. ^ Dingle, Jon (23 September 2017). "The Man Who Invented Christmas UK Release Date Announced". Filmoria. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (20 November 2017). "Can 'Coco' Whip 'Justice League' For Top Spot Over Thanksgiving Stretch? – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  7. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  8. ^ "The Man Who Invented Christmas Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 29 November 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[edit]