A Christmas Carol
It seems as though a new rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol finds its way onto our screens every year. After all, it has all the makings of the perfect festive narrative: a sleepy village blanketed in snow, home to a person who has lost their way and needs to be taught the true meaning of Christmas again. As a result, one is hard-pressed to find a version of this story that brings anything new to the table. This is where Jacqui Morris’s reimagining succeeds, using dance and spoken narration to tell the familiar tale.
This bold shift in style gives A Christmas Carol a unique edge, and the final result is a quietly captivating movie that is sure to entice viewers of all ages this winter. Though numerous stars have lent their voices to this adaptation (Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Carey Mulligan, Simon Russell Beale, Andy Serkis, Leslie Caron and Sian Phillips), the standout performances belong to the dancers (namely Mikey Boats) and the choreography by Russel Maliphant is simply superb. The ethereal movement is only heightened by powerful cinematography from Michael Wood, creating a world that appears truly magical, as though snatched from the front of a Christmas card. In fact, the style of the feature, where dance is mixed with paper figurines and models, feels like a return to traditional cinema, composing an almost nostalgic atmosphere.
Although the film could perhaps benefit from a slightly shorter runtime, it is truly something to behold. Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder about the kind of work the creatives behind A Christmas Carol could produce if they were to find new source materials as opposed to working with a Dickensian favourite; there is only so much dust they can remove from the story. True talent and passion are evident here, potential bubbling behind every scene, and fans of this unique retelling should keep an eye out for their future projects.
A Christmas Carol is released in select cinemas and digitally on demand on 4th December 2020.
Watch the trailer for A Christmas Carol here: