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This review is about the 2009 animated version of A Christmas Carol, featuring the voices of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth amongst others.

Christmas time means Christmas movies…and what better choice than a movie based on one of the most famous and popular novels celebrating Christmas – Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’?

This version of the story remains very truthful to the book – Ebenezer Scrooge is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, who tells him to expect visits from three further ghosts.  These ghosts – Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come, show Scrooge the error of his mean and penny pinching ways, and help him to secure a happier future both for himself and those around him.

I’ve read some negative reviews of this movie, but for my part I enjoyed it.  Although it is animated, Bob Cratchitt and nephew Fred do look like the actors that voiced the parts (Gary Oldman and Colin Firth respectively). Jim Carrey however is unrecognisable either by sight or voice, but he plays the part of Scrooge very well.  He also voices some of the other characters in the story, which I didn’t realise until after I had finished watching.

The story is, on the whole, very faithful to the book although there are a few special effects added in, which may not have been necessary, but did not detract from the story.  There were also a number of scenes with comic relief.

Some people complain that it does not have the heart and soul of other better known versions of the story (Alistair Sim’s version being probably the most popular).  That may be true, and it may possibly be due to the fact that it is animated, rather than having actual people appear on screen.  However, it was a highly enjoyable movie to watch curled up on the sofa on a lazy afternoon, with an inches thick covering of snow outside – which is exactly how I saw it!

A recommended movie for the season!

Year of release: 2009

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writers: Charles Dickens (book), Robert Zemeckis

Main cast: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth

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Click here for my review of the novel.

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This is a very unusual movie, although not in a bad way. However, it definitely requires concentration from the viewer – no popping out for five minutes to make a coffee; you would probably be completely lost if you did.

Joel and Clementines’ relationship has gone wrong, and Joel discovers that Clem has had all of her memories of him erased in a procedure which he has never heard of. Hurt and feeling betrayed, he too decides to undergo the procedure, but as he is doing so, he starts to realise how much the relationship really meant to him, and questions whether he wants to erase all memories of Clem, as painful as they might be.

This film is difficult to describe, and initially difficult to follow. However, it’s definitely one that I would want to watch again, and I suspect that it is the type of film that you always spot something new in, on repeated viewings. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are both terrific (I’d go so far as to say that this is the best performance I’ve ever seen from Winslet).  Carey brings a real sense of vulnerability to his character, and shows that there’s far more to his acting abilities than the rubber faced comedy parts which he is most famous for.

There were a couple of subplots which felt superfluous, but these did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the film.

Year of release: 2004

Director: Michel Gondry

Writers: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth

Main cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslett, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Duntz

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