Review of A Christmas Carol: In Cinemas from December 4th 2020 By Esther Austin

Updated: Nov 12




The latest adaptation of A Christmas Carol


"Nothing Beats the Power of Cinema. What are Cinemas for but to Get Lost in." Andy Serkis. The Voice of Marley's Ghost


Mystical, Magical, Surreal, Intriguing and Soothing - are words that come to mind when I think of this adaptation. Theatrical drama featuring sumptuous visual effects inspired by the techniques of early cinema. The premise of the story is a based on a Victorian Christmas. The children of the family are putting on a play in a paper theatre and the grandmother starts narrating the story where the world comes to life through the eyes of the little girl.



Watching this adaptation as an adult, I was taken on an inspired and magical journey, through the eyes of a child with my adult self in tow. This made for a surreal experience taken into account the stunning visual tapestry of the tale of A Christmas Carol and the exploits of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, The Spirit of Christmas Past and all those other wonderful characters that make A Christmas Carol so special and memorable . We are then inspired to evaluate the meaning of Christmas and how individuals from all walks of life experienced what was often a very sentimental, important time of the year. As an adult I was taken into those sentimental places of reflection and referencing of how humanity treats each other, whilst also recognizing that in each of us there is a darkness that can destroy the best of us and how the innocence of the child can bring us back to the humanity within ourselves and into the power of imagination to keep the inspiration of life going.


'This Year in Particular, I hope families will loose themselves in this beautiful film' Narrator. Sian Phillips


The performers created wonderful wisps of agile magical moments through movement and dance, their bodies, silent orators and meandering pendulums of lightness communicating the Christmas Tale whilst mesmerising at the same time. The constant fluidity of movement sometimes like weeping willows being brushed against the stroke of the wind or frenzied and rushed full of anxiety, depending on the emotion we were expected to feel, all settled against the backdrop of the Narrator's voice. The interesting concept of actors voicing the voices of the performers and performers performing the parts of actors created an even more ethereal experience.




The voice of the Narrator Sian Phillips, whose voice guided us on this mystical journey, captured our attention in a gentle yet in that firm, caring and authoritative tone of a grandmother. A grandmother who sees through the eyes of her grand-daughter and who is then able to articulate those experiences capturing both the adult experience as well as through the eyes of a child.


The film also captured that inter-generational connectedness and the thread that held them families and friendships together. The tone of having aspirations, hopes and keeping dreams alive - striving for things to be better, and yet also accepting where they were at. The need for human understanding and that of survival was a huge thread throughout the film, and how humanity in its hour of deepest pain and need, somehow always finds the will to get through those moments and still hold onto the candle of hope.



A Christmas Carol is a performance that tugs and reels on ones senses and emotions especially with what has happened this year. In these unprecedented and uncertain times the poignancy of this film seems to hold a richer and deeper meaning. The emphasis more on humanity and how we treat each other, the need to be there for each other, to emphasis that we must continue to hold the torch of hope in our hearts for better days but more so, to continue to believe in and to make the most of the magic of Christmas, family, friends and what is truly important to us all, along with the importance of self reflection and awareness of how we treat each other.





Link to Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyXVIhSsalI&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=MunroFilms Simon Russell Beale as the voice of Scrooge - Danced by Michael Nunn and Jakub Franasowicz

Andy Serkis as the voice of Marley’s Ghost - Danced by Russell Maliphant

Martin Freeman as the voice of Bob Cratchit - Danced by Karl Fagerlund Brekke

Daniel Kaluuya as The Ghost of Christmas Present - Danced by Mikey Boats

Carey Mulligan as Belle - Danced by Grace Jabbari

Lesley Caron as The Ghost of Christmas Past - Danced by Dana Fouras

Dame Sian Philips as The Narrator


British filmmakers - Directors Jacqui Morris and David Morris


Audiences will be able to catch A Christmas Carol in cinemas and select theatre venues nationwide from December 4th. Listings are available here: https://www.achristmascarol2020.film/?country=united-kingdom

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