Comfortable and Furious

A Christmas Carol (2020)

A Christmas Carol: A heavily narrated, twitching jerking, twirling, pretentious and choreographed mess. But, it was a beautiful mess.

This is yet another rendition of my favorite themed Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol. In an upscale Victorian home, the children had constructed a paper theater version of this classic. As grandmother narrates the story of Scrooge, the set comes alive in the imaginations of the children.

This elaborate theatrical production was adapted into an animated and dream-like production movie. There were no spoken parts, as all of script was narrated by actors’ voices to correlate with the slow-motion break dance-like moves of the actors. Granny intermittently filled in the blanks of the story line of the actors.

Even though the director, Jaqui Morris, at every opportunity was not hesitant to display his craft, the movie did remain quite faithful to the original story and timeline.

This production is a very unique and unusual version of the Scrooge classic, and predictably is not for everyone. Most viewer reviews characterized it as both boring and again pretentious, and this is on point to a degree. The faithfulness to the script was overdone to a fault, as Morris seemed compelled to shoehorn in every single line from the Dicken’s novel.

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future arrived as expected, but Christmas Present was a young black dancer, narrated by Daniel Kaluuya and this ghost really looked out of place. I mean, what were they thinking? Andy Serkis was predictably great as Ghost Marley, and was the best apparition in the film.

If the viewer is a fan of A Christmas Carol, the theater or ballet, then this version can be better appreciated. For most, however, this adaptation will be a giant bore and not worthy of viewing. I have mixed feelings as I appreciated the craft and the sheer beauty of this classic, but it’s definitely a narrow niche film. Some scenes were totally unconnected to the story, but were merely inserted for the sole purpose of showcasing the choreography.

The second half of the film dragged, again because of the director’s attempt to include every line from the Dicken’s novel into the script. This movie would have benefited from some robust editing and was about 20 minutes too long. I’m toggling between a yah or nay for this one, but in the end, the eye test squeaks out a thumbs up.

7.0/10.0 With the Goatesians Rating of a very different A Christmas Carol



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