A Christmas Carol (PG)

Film

Family films

736.fi.x491.christmas.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 3 2009

The third ‘performance capture’ animation from writer-director Robert Zemeckis – following ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘Beowulf’ – takes Dickens’s cautionary and sentimental 1840s novella and delivers a visually arresting but surprisingly ghoulish and family-unfriendly ghost ride.
Not unlike the latest ‘Harry Potter’, it opens with a fantastic, technically superb aerial swoop over the teeming streets of London but, from there on, seems uncomfortable on the ground. To an extent, this ‘Christmas Carol’ is a case of style – and stylisation – overwhelming substance. The technology’s developing competence in delivering texture and vertiginous line and scale deny any sense of intimacy in the film’s settings, from the oceanic swathes of planked floorboard that Scrooge paces in his lending-house, to the restlessly changing angles from which poor, trusting Bob Cratchit’s (Gary Oldman) festive table is viewed in his cold, humble dwelling.

Likewise, despite staying true to Dickens’s dialogue, the characterisations are opaque, as facial expressions and people’s eyes are often creepily indistinct. How can we judge, for instance, Jim Carrey’s acting when he has provided a database of performances in his six incarnations? He plays Ebenezer Scrooge as a lonely schoolboy, heedless young lover and elderly curmudgeon and is also the ghosts of past, present and future – which means that possible pathos and sympathy is trumped by the surreal and impersonal spectacle of endless metamorphoses. That said, cinematographer Robert Presley and the design team provide many instances of graphical triumph, influenced by silent cinema, the spirit of Tim Burton and – in Scrooge’s moment of torment in the dockside murk and mist – David Lean. What the film suffers from is a want of common comfort, despite its nominally redemptive, happy ending.
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Nov 6, 2009

Duration:

96 mins

Cinemas showing A Christmas Carol

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BFI IMAX

1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, London, SE1 8XR Show map/details

  • Address:

    BFI IMAX 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk
    London
    SE1 8XR

  • Venue website:

    www.bfi.org.uk/imax

  • Opening hours:

    Ring for times

  • Transport:

    Tube: Waterloo

  • Price:

    Standard prices £7.90, concs £6.50, children (4-14) £4.95, under-threes free

  • Map

    1. BFI IMAX
Map
  • Wed Dec 24:

    • 09:30

Olympic Studios

117-123, Church Road, London, SW13 9HL Show map/details

  • Address:

    117-123
    Olympic Studios Church Road
    London
    SW13 9HL

Map
  • Mon Dec 22:

    • 10:30

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|43
1 person listening
John

This movie seemed to me to be a relatively faithful adaptation of the Dickens novel(more so than a lot of critics give it credit for) mixed with a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Unfortunately, the two don't mix that well.

harrybows

The film was magnificent and wuld go ad see it again one of the films to get me in the christmas moo

harrybows

The film was magnificent and wuld go ad see it again one of the films to get me in the christmas moo

Nic Niewart

In live action, the Alastair Sim version is probably the most loved, with myriad other versions all contributing something new, but never ringing the bell of something new, something better. And like THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, it seems to be remade every four years of so, whether for TV or cinema. This is a very ambitious project, and I think it succeeds in all departments. It is the shock of the ghosts and the scary things they relate, that turns Scrooge into a changed man. It is a virtuoso performance by Jim Carrey, playing as he does all the ghosts, as well as Scrooge, also several roles are by Gary Oldman, and the much under-rated Cary Elwes. The colours, art direction is very evocative of the early-mid 19th century, drama is produced by the milestones of watching Scrooge being what he is and how he is. It is a well known story and I suppose everybody will find fault with something, and how they do! But as a dvd to keep in the collection-yes. This is a tour de force in 3-d animation.

Nic Niewart

In live action, the Alastair Sim version is probably the most loved, with myriad other versions all contributing something new, but never ringing the bell of something new, something better. And like THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, it seems to be remade every four years of so, whether for TV or cinema. This is a very ambitious project, and I think it succeeds in all departments. It is the shock of the ghosts and the scary things they relate, that turns Scrooge into a changed man. It is a virtuoso performance by Jim Carrey, playing as he does all the ghosts, as well as Scrooge, also several roles are by Gary Oldman, and the much under-rated Cary Elwes. The colours, art direction is very evocative of the early-mid 19th century, drama is produced by the milestones of watching Scrooge being what he is and how he is. It is a well known story and I suppose everybody will find fault with something, and how they do! But as a dvd to keep in the collection-yes. This is a tour de force in 3-d animation.

CAROL MILES

Disappointing, Disappointing, Disappointing. As always Christmas will come around again. Next time just watch the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. Yes, that's the ticket.

Bluewaterk

My teenage boys and I went and saw this film. They were just part of A Christmas Carol drama play presentation and can say most of the lines from the book by memory. We all loved it. Regardless of what the critics say, it was a unique and graphically beautiful retelling of a beloved tale with many deeply moving metaphors I have never seen in any other adaption. (I own most of them) For instance, what adaption has ever showed us what ignorance and want are? This one does...they develop and mature right before your eyes. We talked for a long time about the meaning of all the interesting graphic interpretations and twists they put into the movie. I think this stuff went right over the critic's heads. If you are a deep thinker or a philosopher you will enjoy this movie. It will be a favorite for our family for many years.

Bluewaterk

My teenage boys and I went and saw this film. They were just part of A Christmas Carol drama play presentation and can say most of the lines from the book by memory. We all loved it. Regardless of what the critics say, it was a unique and graphically beautiful retelling of a beloved tale with many deeply moving metaphors I have never seen in any other adaption. (I own most of them) For instance, what adaption has ever showed us what ignorance and want are? This one does...they develop and mature right before your eyes. We talked for a long time about the meaning of all the interesting graphic interpretations and twists they put into the movie. I think this stuff went right over the critic's heads. If you are a deep thinker or a philosopher you will enjoy this movie. It will be a favorite for our family for many years.

puffbother

Film was nice, a bit short, storyline could of had added to it a bit more depth, but none the less the effects were great and my 3 year old loved it

Andy and Laura!

IGNORE THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS!!! We saw this in 3D today and it was magnificent!! It was jumpy and dark during the Ghost scenes (under 10s be warned) and Jim Carrey (you wouldn't have known it was him in ALL his roles) was superb. We loved it, and its one of the most faithful versions I've seen (apart from when he goes midget!!). Would see it again if VUE wasn't such a rip off!!! Fantastic. A Christmas treat!

Andy and Laura!

IGNORE THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS!!! We saw this in 3D today and it was magnificent!! It was jumpy and dark during the Ghost scenes (under 10s be warned) and Jim Carrey (you wouldn't have known it was him in ALL his roles) was superb. We loved it, and its one of the most faithful versions I've seen (apart from when he goes midget!!). Would see it again if VUE wasn't such a rip off!!! Fantastic. A Christmas treat!

NNM

Brilliant film true to the original story by Dickens - took my students who compared it with the text and other versions and they all thought it the closest to the text and definitely had the wow factor! Outstanding!

NNM

Brilliant film true to the original story by Dickens - took my students who compared it with the text and other versions and they all thought it the closest to the text and definitely had the wow factor! Outstanding!

SLI

I could not stand this movie. It was tacky, and definatly not for kids. I actually dont know of any age that would like it. I thought the whole thing was way crazy, and not ever worth seeing again.

Thomas Noctor

I agree this is a very dark tale, the very first ghost encounter is simular to a scene in Paranormal Activity! But I would recommemd the Dvd get a 12 cert at the very least! Good effects, but as a 26 year old man I feel sorry for the mis lead parents and kids!

Julie

I took my 11 year old and 7 year old to see what I thought would be a Disney classic . They came out really upset by the images of the spirits . They were frighteningly graphic. More like a horror movie than a Christmas film. Avoid it !!!'

Cappybear

My wife and I agree with Liv that the film isn't really suitable for young children, but then A Christmas Carol is not really a cheery tale, in spite of the happy ending - for Scrooge. An stimulating experience, nevertheless, well worth seeing in 3-D, and I thought that Jim Carrey showed commendable restraint.

Liv

Don't take young kids to see this! I had to leave early mine got so freaked out. What a nightmare! Definitely not family friendly. Terrifying characters and sequences for young or sensitive children. What I did see of the film as well- I really didn't like. Jim Carey overkill. Special Effects overkill. Bizarrelyt... not a good Christmas film... Don't bother.

Caitlin

The film was very good. when it was snowing i put my hand out to see if it was real but it was not real snow. When scrooge was in the sky my nana wendy was very dizzy.WE thoutht it was very good movie. God would have liked it.

Caitlin

The film was very good. when it was snowing i put my hand out to see if it was real but it was not real snow. When scrooge was in the sky my nana wendy was very dizzy.WE thoutht it was very good movie. God would have liked it.

Jools

What a fabulous film. I usually settle down in my cinema seat and prepare myself for a snooze when I take my son to a kids film, but this was different. Seat-of-the-pants special effects that made you feel like you were on Victorian white knuckle rides, and truly beautiful, snowy Dickensian scenes. Some really ugly faces - Colin Firth with a Jimmy Hill chin for instance - and dodgy accents. Otherwise, five star. My 7-year-old loved it too.

Jools

What a fabulous film. I usually settle down in my cinema seat and prepare myself for a snooze when I take my son to a kids film, but this was different. Seat-of-the-pants special effects that made you feel like you were on Victorian white knuckle rides, and truly beautiful, snowy Dickensian scenes. Some really ugly faces - Colin Firth with a Jimmy Hill chin for instance - and dodgy accents. Otherwise, five star. My 7-year-old loved it too.

wendy181

I previously gave this film the thumbs down but we did not see it in 3d so I think it must be much better he we had.

Katie J &amp; Ellie G

Absoloutly fab! This was an extraudinary feilm despite the fact that the adverts were more 3d than the film. Tips: Do not see it in 3D :D lol xxxx

Katie J &amp; Ellie G

Absoloutly fab! This was an extraudinary feilm despite the fact that the adverts were more 3d than the film. Tips: Do not see it in 3D :D lol xxxx

Sophie

1st of all discusted in the price to watch a film? £9.45 for an adult and £7.05 for a child at the Vue in Cheshire Oaks, plus sweets and drinks blah, blah! Wait til it comes out on DVD i say and watch it in the comfort of your own home as the cinema was packed, had really bad seats. The 3D quality was excellent but the film was a huge disapointment, not very warm and christmasy, i know it's all about Scrouge but... Not suitable for children under 10, very dark, my 6 year old did not enjoy it, was bored and asking to go home! I wouldn't bother wasting the time or money to be honest, treat the family to a game of bowling or something instead, much more fun and cheaper!!!!!

BbyGal

This film was oright but i wouldnt go see it again... i like the way it was in 3d and the eeffects of the snow and stuff but it was very much like all the rest of the film like all dogs christmas caral ( but i liked that better ) i was not expecting it to be great but i was bored and just wanted it end what i didnt think i would feel like x

Gobinder

Captures the atmosphere of Dickens perfectly,butt it does have a little too much darknes and some children may be frightened. Hovever,it is still an excellent film and well woth seeing.

bob

Little bit darker than I expected and the film seemed to end very fast. It didnt show much of scrooge been good and spending his money. The film in 3d did look fantastic and Jim carrey did play a good roll. Overall a good film that could of been better

steve

Superb! True to the original Dickens, brilliantly and beautifully animated, an unforgetable fim. And the closing song over the credits will bring tears to your eyes.

steve

Superb! True to the original Dickens, brilliantly and beautifully animated, an unforgetable fim. And the closing song over the credits will bring tears to your eyes.

Salvatore

GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! THE best 3-D ever! Everyone should go!!!! And be ready to be thrilled!!!

Salvatore

GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! THE best 3-D ever! Everyone should go!!!! And be ready to be thrilled!!!

Cyrillesley

Good review. I'd add that is not suitable for kids under 10 as it has some scary moments. It feels more like a ride at an ammusement park than a film. Looks fantastic, but ultimately leaves a hollow feeling. Disappointing