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(2009) ★★★

BBC1: Thursday 24 December, 2.20pm

Opening on a close-up of Jacob Marley in his coffin, this is the creepiest version yet of Charles Dickens’ enduring Victorian classic. The waxen motion-capture animation also contributes greatly to the creepiness, and it’s a process that allows Jim Carrey to voice seven different characters. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, first and foremost. Carrey’s Scrooge looks a lot like Wilfrid Brambell’s old man Steptoe, pulling back his thin lips in a sneer to reveal rotten teeth in a mealy mouth. “As a general rule of thumb,” noted Salon’s critic, “one Jim Carrey is plenty for any movie.” With impressively textured visuals inside and out of Scrooge’s spooky old mauseleum, and shadow play seemingly inspired by the silent screen’s Nosferatu, this might be a bit much for little ’uns – indeed, Marley’s ghost arrives like something out of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser.

But if this is Jim Carrey making amends for The Grinch, we’ll take it. The hearty laughter of Christmas Present might be a bit much, but none of it is humbug. Well, except for an awful theme song that somehow warrants an ostentatious credit in the opening titles. Glen Ballard’s ballad God Bless Us Everyone is sung over the end credits by Andrea Bocelli as though it were a Wembley cup final hymn. Even so, rather this than the digital goo of Brad Pitt’s babyfied Benjamin Button. For variations on a Dickens theme, Channel 5 has Albert Finney’s 1970 Scrooge at 10.50am on Christmas morning,Channel 4 has Bill Murray’s 80s hit Scrooged at 3.45pm.

Certificate: PG
Duration: 97min

IMDB – A Christmas Carol

TMDB – A Christmas Carol

Rotten Tomatoes – A Christmas Carol

Other Showings Date & Time
Channel 5 Friday, 25 December at 12:30AM
Sky Movies Family Friday, 25 December at 1:15AM
Sky Movies Drama/Romance Thursday, 31 December at 9:25AM
Sky Movies Drama/Romance Friday, 1 January at 3:50AM