Monday, December 17, 2012

Year One. Day Ten: "A Christmas Carol" (2000)

Day Ten of my Advent Christmas Carol Challenge:

"A Christmas Carol" (2000)

Patrick Stewart takes the reigns in this adaptation, and his performance is both brilliant and everything that is wrong with this made-for-TV production.

Stewart is a GREAT actor and he has become famous for his one-man performances of "A Christmas Carol" - and it really shows, as his version of Scrooge is so theatrical it doesn't really fit on the screen.

Scrooge is portrayed as an almost Shakespearean character here and played without laughs or satire, which in a way, completely misses the point of him. He is supposed to be almost comically villainous and as soon as he is played straight, his character becomes very hard to believe.

However, there are some very nice touches in this adaptation. During the Christmas Present sequence, we are shown a montage of struggling people breaking out into Christmas carols; from inmates of a debtors prison; to sailors on a stormy sea; to miners marching in line as they venture underground. It's a truly moving scene of Christmas giving hope through hardships and one which is rarely adapted from the source material.

Sadly, Scrooge's redemption moment is completely botched. The scene of him realising that he is alive and awoken from his sleep, is one of the most bizarre, hammy and embarrassing pieces of acting I have ever seen. Is he having a stroke? Is he having a heart attack? Is he having an orgasm?

You can check out Stewart putting the ham in humbug here:

As much of a missed opportunity as dear, poor Belle.

"A Christmas Carol" (2000) 3/5

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