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Published on November 6th, 2009 | by simeon


A Christmas Carol

The timeless classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has been one of the most beloved and adapted stories in history. There have been numerous movies, plays, radio, and television shows that have told the story for several generations as well as adapted films such as “Scrooged” and “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” which were inspired by the timeless tale of redemption.

The latest version of the film was created by Director Robert Zemeckis (who also wrote the screenplay for the film.) and presents it with stunning 3D effects.

The clever use of animation based on motion capture of the actors brings a new and unique look and style to the film that makes it contemporary yet does not diminish the Victorian England setting of the story.

In case you are one of the few that are not familiar with the tale, the story centers on a miserly curmudgeon, named Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey), who is so tight with a penny that he keeps the coal in his office locked up, forcing his employee Bob Crachit (Gary Oldman), to make do with one tiny piece a day during the cold of winter.

Scrooge has no love for anyone or anything aside from his work, and he spends his life in working and dispensing venom for all those that dare come into his world.

When he is invited to Christmas dinner by his nephew Fred (Colin Firth), Scrooge declines the offer abruptly and berates his nephew about the pointless nature of Christmas and how it serves no purpose. As if he was just getting warmed up, Scrooge then unleashes his fury on a local charity and informs them that if the needy were to die, then perhaps there would be less surplus population in the world.

Alone in his home on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old associate Jacob Marley, (Gary Oldman), who passed away seven years earlier. Marley is bound by the long chains he created in his life, and warns Scrooge not to make the mistakes he did and that there is still time for him to find redemption.

Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future who take Scrooge on a journey through his life, and show him the folly of his ways, and offer him a second chance to lead a better life with caring and compassion to all.
The solid cast really shines and many play multiple roles in the film. Carrey gives a strong performance and manages to reign in his over the top energy during the more dramatic parts of the film, and lets it out where appropriate. He subtly infuses comedy into the story without it ever taking the focus from the story.

The 3D effects were a real treat and it truly seemed like it was snowing in the theater and the numerous shots of London were truly amazing. While some may see it as a more modern adaptation, I found the film to be very true to the story, and was not only very entertaining, but a version that even Scrooge himself would enjoy as this is a new holiday classic that sets the bar for future adaptations of the story to aspire to.
4.5 stars out of 5.
train 8

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