ranuel (ranuel) wrote,

Movie Review: A Christmas Carol (1999)

This is the Patrick Stewart version that was done as a TNT original movie. He is one of the best Scrooges EVER. The rest of the cast is excellent with many familiar British character actors and Richard E. Grant of all people as Bob Cratchit. It surprised me that a guy who played the Scarlet Pimpernel with such daring do did such a great job as the down-trodden Cratchit. Joel Grey as the Ghost of Christmas past is fey and inhuman but still warm and sympathetic.

The production is gorgeous to look at too. The sets and costumes are wonderful. My only nitpick is that the clothes for Scrooges fiancée, Belle, are far too nice for her stated status in the film. At Fezziwig's party where the other girls are wearing cotton print dresses she wears a gorgeous bright yellow dress that better belongs on her Disney namesake. Later on when she breaks up with Scrooge she tells him he would never chose a poor girl if they were just meeting while wearing a velvet coat and matching hat that even today, with cheaper synthetic velvets, would set you back at least $200-$300 on sale.

The symbolism of her being the brightest, prettiest girl at the party and then later being dressed in a subdued shade of mustard yellow when things don't work out is obviously intended and really wasn't needed.

Other than that it really is great. I think this may be the best of the non-musical color versions. Stewart has been doing a one-man stage presentation of the story for years and his experience with the material shows. Scrooge is a tricky part to play. The actor has to be able to be convincing as both the hard hearted man scrooge was and the reformed Scrooge without overacting either one and has to show the transition between the two believably. Stewart manages to do this.
Tags: movie review
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