I found this version of Charles Dickens’s classic novel, A Christmas Carol, on television tonight and I thought I would watch it and see how it compared to some of the other versions I have seen. Sure this is a television movie, but I figure I can stretch the category a bit. I mean, it’s Christmas!
However, I found this version to be lacking when compared to some of the other notable versions that have been done.
Sadly, I think the main reason was I was having a real hard time with Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge. Now, do not get me wrong. I love Patrick Stewart and I think he is a tremendous actor. I just had a difficult time seeing him in this role, and with that working against the film already, it did not have much chance to pull through.
It is always interesting to see what certain adaptations include in the film and what some dismiss. Scrooge’s nephew Fred’s party being one of the most varied of all of the scenes. This version showed much more at Fred’s party than any other version I have seen.
Other actors in the film included Richard E. Grant (who gave a great performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me this year with Melissa McCarthy) as Bob Cratchit. Broadway star Joel Grey appeared as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Dominic West was Fred.
The classic lines were here too, but I just did not feel the emotion of them as I have in other versions. Some scenes felt rushed, which may be on account of time constraints of television, but it still felt too compact at times.
You can also tell that this is a television budget with some of the special effects the film tried to pull off. They were adequate most of the time, but there were some really noticeable moments of poor quality as well.
I really had a hard time looking upon Patrick Stewart and seeing Scrooge. I did not have that problem in other iconic roles that Stewart played so I just do not believe that, no matter how brilliant he is, he was the right fit for Ebenezer Scrooge.