Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

A Christmas Carol (1999)



Reviews and Comments

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been filmed so many times, most of us know the story, even many of the lines, by heart, without ever having read the book. It is a story that hits us somewhere deep down in our psyches, hence why we come back to it time and again. The best productions, I have heard and generally believe, are ones that are viewed to find out not what happens but how it happens. Choosing to watch one version of A Christmas Carol over another very often boils down to a preference for one actor's portrayal of Ebenezer Scoorge over another's.

Patrick Stewart plays Scrooge in this one, and, as if it were any surprise, he does a fantastic job. He is absolutely convincing as the character, but his performance goes beyond that. He doesn't rely on past performances or our familiarity with the story and character to get himself by. More than once in the course of this movie, Stewart plays without a safety net, turning himself fully over to Scrooge's tumultuous emotions. The rewards for his approach to the character are great; so also were the risks, and I can only commend him for going for broke.

The production value of the film is par for the course, with the exception of one or two memorable images I've not seen in other versions. All told, I recommend this version of Dickens' novel and rank it highly among the myriad adaptations.

Other Versions

Related Films