A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2018) – MERRY CHRISTMAS! Balladeer’s Blog’s eleventh annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon takes a look at this Scottish adaptation of the Dickens classic. David Izatt directed and Stuart Brennan wrote and stars as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The premise of a modern-day Scrooge running a distillery definitely sounds like it could work, but Brennan is absurdly over the top in the lead role. He’s not stingy and covetous, he’s psychotic. There are cartoon depictions of Scrooge who aren’t as artificial as this.
Brennan’s Scrooge is more like a supervillain from a bad comic book movie than he is like a money-grubbing executive. J.R. Ewing would tell this guy to show some subtlety.
Sarina Taylor portrays Bob Cratchit … not even Bobbie Cratchit, just “Bob” in a fairly lazy creative decision. She doesn’t have a sickly son named Tiny Tim, she has a cancer-stricken husband named Tim (Scott Ironside). Whether or not she calls him Tiny Tim is an issue for their marriage counselor, not me.
Scrooge’s Nephew Fred is really UNCLE Fred (Alec Westwood) this time around, but it’s purely a cosmetic change with no real payoff, like the change of Tim Cratchit to a husband instead of a son.
The charity collectors are two young ladies who barely register, they’re so bland. In this production Scrooge gives them a huge contribution by donating the money he was going to have to pay out as Christmas bonuses to his employees.
The script would have us believe Ebenezer can make this last-minute change and get a tax break at the expense of his employees. It’s not a colossal break in the immersion, but it piles up like all the rest of the annoyances, similar to a coral reef building up.
Marley’s Ghost shows up during Scrooge’s ride home with his chauffer in a pretty clever alteration, so not everything is bad in this Carol. Scrooge and Marley were childhood friends here, and dreamed of getting into the whiskey business to have something good to drink and enjoy the view of the countryside. Obviously, though, the profit motive came to consume everything else.
The other ghosts are just so-so at best. Everything feels by the numbers with no real passion. The movie LOOKS good, but even that is kind of sterile, like a car commercial.
This rendition of A Christmas Carol is pretty disappointing overall. It is definitely not one I will watch on a regular basis. In fact, I may not even watch it again at all. And regular readers know how rare that is for me when it comes to this particular story.
Well, that wraps up another Christmas Carol-A-Thon! Sorry it ended on such a down review. Be here the Friday after Thanksgiving when the 2021 Christmas Carol-A-Thon kicks off! +++
FOR MORE VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/
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