NPR

'The Man Who Invented Christmas' Is Half History, Half Humbug

The film "doesn't reinvent much of anything, but its jumble of biography, fantasy, and backstage melodrama" is at least better than yet another version of A Christmas Carol.
Dan Stevens stars as Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas. Source: Bleeker Street Media

In 1823, the publication of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (aka "The Night Before Christmas") put into circulation holiday lore that retailers, advertisers, and other true believers have been rejiggering ever since. So it's a tad presumptuous to call Charles Dickens, whose A Christmas Carol was published 20 years later, The Man Who Invented Christmas.

The title comes from. He's inspired to pen a ghost story when he hears the tales spun by Tara (Anna Murphy), a teenage housemaid fresh from Ireland. So perhaps the film would better be called .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readTech
Instagram Advertising: Do You Know It, When You See It?
"Micro-influencers" work with big companies to sell products on social media. Consumer groups are increasingly concerned that many posts on Instagram and platforms aren't clearly marked as ads.
NPR5 min read
Elite Runners' Gut Microbe Makes Mice More Athletic — Could It Help The Rest Of Us?
Researchers identified a strain of bacteria that flourishes in the guts of athletes after exercise. When transferred to mice, it gave a big boost in endurance. Could runners' probiotics be on the way?
NPR4 min readTech
International Roundtable: U.S. And Iran, Kushner And The Middle East, G-20
U.S.-Iran tensions boil over. Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace push. The G-20 readies to meet in Japan. Our global roundtable returns.