Opening 5 Nov 2009
Writing credits: Charles Dickens, Robert Zemeckis
Principal actors: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright
"You reap what you sow" is the central message behind Charles Dickens' timeless tale about learning to love your fellow man and sharing your good fortune. For those not familiar with the story: Scrooge is a stingy, bitter and controlling accountant who hates everyone and everything. He exploits his bookkeeper, Bob Cratchit, and ignores the company of his only and good-natured nephew Fred. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge retires to his large and lonely mansion. He is startled and horrified by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who has come to warn Scrooge of the ghastly future that awaits him if does not change his evil ways. He advises Scrooge that during the night he shall be visited by three ghosts whose collective purpose is to bring the message home: the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. As a result of his night flights with each of the ghosts, Scrooge is forced to become a new man. Christmas Day finds the old misanthropic Scrooge reborn as a generous old man who has chosen to do good for the rest of his life.
This 3D animatronic version of the classic story took some getting used to. There's something strange about watching a Victorian classic in 3D. The story is so effective and its message so clear that the extra modern pyrotechnics in this latest screen adaptation are entertaining but not really necessary. Given the slate of exceptional actors incorporating the different characters, it would have been a pleasure to see them on screen in all their corporeal glory. Jim Carrey is excellent in all his roles, which include Scrooge and the three ghosts. Kudos to the director Robert Zemeckis for casting Gary Oldman as the good and down trodden Bob Cratchit. They are supported by the accomplished talents of no less than Colin Firth as nephew Fred, Bob Hoskins as Fezziweg and Robin Wright-Penn as Belle and Fan. (Rita Pearson Schwandt)