Despite some valid criticisms of Robert Zemeckis’ new high tech re-make of Dicken’s Christmas classic the movie and the story still enthrall, writes Mike D’Virgilio.
The wife and I saw Disney’s A Christmas Carol this Thanksgiving weekend and loved it. I’ve seen a variety of criticisms of the movie, and I can see some validity in all of them. FilmoFilia has snippets and links to a number of these mixed reviews, but our reaction to the movie was anything but mixed.
This was my first 3-D movie outside a theme park in what seems like forever, and it was a fascinating part of the story. For some it added an overdone theme park element to the movie, and I can certainly see it coming to a Disney park in due course (how about replacing those tired hold Haunted House rides), but we felt it added rather than distracted from the story.
Some also took exception to the less than lifelike eyes of the motion capture technique, and you can certainly tell they are not real people. But again, this was not a distraction for us. What was amazing was how close to lifelike it really was. And then there was Jim Carrey who most agree did a fabulous job as Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past and present. When Mr. Scrooge wakes up and realizes he’s alive Jim Carrey is the perfect actor to portray Scrooge’s joyous jig.
Another satisfying aspect of the movie was that the language wasn’t dumbed down to satisfy the more simple English tongue of our present day, nor was Christmas other than what it is, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact much of the musical background was gloriously sung Christian hymns that celebrate the reason for the season. Somewhere I read that Dickens’ tale was a secular story for the season, but that’s not completely accurate. Yes, Scroog’s transformation wasn’t because of a gospel presentation, but God’s existence is assumed throughout and life after death is unambiguously portrayed as reward or punishment for a life either well or badly lived.
Maybe most amazing of all is that a story first published in 1843, and maybe more well known than any story in the English speaking world, can still capture the imagination. This re-telling certainly did.