Not a dumbed down entertainment to rake in Holiday bucks but a thoughtful film about the writing process that is engaging for all ages. It can be faulted for relying too much on story elements from Dickens into the writer's life to the point of tedium but once you get over the improbable casting of Dan Stevens, his sparring with Christopher Plummer (who does wonders with his line readings) is quite engaging.
"The Man Who Invented Christmas" is at its best when it treats the writing process as a hybrid of self-doubt and fantasy, in this case, characters from Charles Dickens's famous "Christmas Carol" stalking him as he tries to write. Apart from that, and Dan Stevens doing a compelling Eddie Redmayne, the film struggles to liven up Dickens's private life aside from including several bland archetypes.
Stevens is good, problem is a lot of the film contains very stereotypical characters for a bio film and that detracts from the proceedings a bit. The film is coolest when it shows Dickens actually talking with and reasoning with the characters in his head to resolve the storyline of Christmas Carol, otherwise the film is largely forgettable. Still, I give it 3 stars because it does have a certain charm.
An amiable endeavor all around but a shallow one which quickly slips from memory which is an inexcusable sin for a movie about the creation of a story that everyone on the planet knows by heart. Of particular note are the performance of Christopher Plummer who seems to only get more talented with age and the over loud and distracting score.