Eye For Film >> Movies >> Christmas Carol - The Movie (2001) Film Review
Christmas Carol - The Movie
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
How could such a star-studded cast go wrong? It doesn't.
Snipping and adding to Dickens' immortal story of the miserly Scrooge who is taught humanity by ghosts and learns to like Christmas is fair game, if the cuts and additions help to make Victorian London more accessible to 21st century kids. On the whole, they do, despite simplifying sub-plots, such as Tiny Tim's pathetic little life.
The weakness of the film is in the animation, which is worse than anything you might find in a degree show. The producer decided against modern techniques, in favour of hand drawn imagery. The architecture and cityscapes are beautifully done and some of the fantasy sequences reminiscent of a Chagal painting. The figures, however, do not work at all. Blurry, fuzzy, wobbly and indistinct, they make little, if no, impact. Scrooge is younger than you might expect and Belle, his childhood sweetheart, never seems to age. The ghosts are the best, because they don't have to look lifelike.
Simon Callow plays the author at the start, giving a reading in Boston in 1867, and voices Scrooge throughout. As a veteran one-man-Dickensian, he is the perfect choice. Kate Winslet can do little to make Belle interesting and seems too big a name for such a small part. Jane Horrocks sounds breezy and bossy as the Ghost Of Christmas Past and Michael Gambon booms out of the giant body of the Ghost Of Christmas Present. The biggest surprise is discovering that the low, spooky tones of dead Jacob Marley come from the mouth of none other than Captain Corelli - Nicolas Cage. No mandolin, alas. Only songs by Charlotte Church.Reviewed on: 06 Dec 2001