In 1843, after a couple of failed books, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) was desperate for renewed success. He quickly and under formidable pressure managed to conceive and self-publish "A Christmas Carol," which turned out to be a huge winner and influenced the way we still celebrate Christmas. Also with Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Morfydd Clark, Simon Callow, Miriam Margolyes, Ian McNeice, Bill Paterson, Donald Sumpter and Annette Badland. Directed by Bharat Nalluri. A couple lines of dialogue are spoken in Italian with no translation or subtitles. [1:44]
SEX/NUDITY 1 - A husband and his wife wearing night clothes are shown lying in bed together and the woman says that she is pregnant.
► A man talks about "street walkers."
VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Two young boys fight; they wrestle on the ground and one punches the other in the face (we do not see a wound).
► A man is arrested and taken away in a barred carriage by police in front of his young son who is afraid and cries; the boy is then shown being left at a factory where he is forced to work. A man looks into an open grave and then looks up from inside the grave as the walls close in on him (he eventually gets out). A man jumps a gate at a train station and is chased by police (they let him go).
► A young boy is shoved by a man and forced to work at a table where another boy drops a dead rat (the boy whimpers and cowers). A man holds two young children and calls out on the street (as if maybe selling them for labor) and another man chases them through dark alleys and into a cemetery where a funeral is being held. A man goes into an abandoned factory and remembers having been made to work there. A young boy coughs deeply and uses a cane in a few scenes and we understand that he has died.
► A dark cloaked being stands on a roof above several people standing in a street and points (we hear crumbling and cracking when it moves). A man who is said to be a ghost (his skin is gray-tinged) is wrapped with chains that are attached to a heavy safe and he drags it behind him. A man wakes up with a start when another man stands over him and they go to see a "ghost."
► A man yells at his father and tells him to leave and stay out of his life. A man yells at another man and fires him. Two men argue about the fate of the poor and one says that the poor should go to the workhouse; the other man says, "How many people would rather die that go there," to which the other replies that that would be a way to reduce the population. A man says, "Debt is an ogre." A man talks about pickpockets. A reference is made to spirits crossing over. A man yells at a young woman in a few scenes. A young woman talks about her mother having died when she was young and that she ended up in the work house. A man talks to his adult son about his being made to leave London (exiled). A reference is made to someone being "boiled in his own pudding." A man describes a nightmare where he is chased by a giant badger. A man says, "I don't want to die alone and forgotten."
► A man yells and throws things in his office including a jar of ink into a fire. A man yells and thrashes around a room; he throws himself on the floor and moans. A waiter stumbles and nearly falls onto a dining table in a restaurant. A man grabs his cat and throws it off-screen (we hear it screech). A large bird escapes its cage and flaps around a house causing a chandelier to fall from the ceiling and people to yell in a few scenes. A man pounds a door knocker and it falls off the door. A man looks at another man in a threatening manner.
► A man shows slides of a ghostly looking character and a young boy is frightened.
► Bugs crawl out of a stale biscuit that a man offers to two other men.
PROFANITY 1 - 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (vulgar, Lord of the Dead, necromancer, Lucifer Box, Snodgering, meanest cur, miserable, loathsome, scaly headed vultures, money grubbing, old sinner, evil miser, imbecile, selfish, wicked, nuisance, idiot, dead as a door nail, scabby, riff-raff, hired hand, orphan, retch, voice of doom, reckless, coward, monster, reprobate, thriftless, mean spirited, ridiculous, crippled), exclamations (bloody, humbug, quiet, shut it), 5 religious exclamations (Oh God, God Bless Us, Grace Be To God, What The Devil Is That). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks champagne at a restaurant and people at surrounding tables are seen with glasses of wine, a man takes a drink of alcohol, two men laugh and appear to be inebriated (we do not see them drinking), a woman appears to be inebriated and she serves punch (presumably alcoholic) from a punch bowl, and people are shown holding and drinking from glasses of wine in a few scenes. A man takes a few cigars from a box in another man's office (we do not see him smoke).
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fame, capitalism, success, failure, family, debtor's prison, borrowing money at high interest rates, work houses, being a gentleman, generosity, good will, publishing business, fraud, talent, ideas, Christmas, charity, mercy, forbearance, deadlines, self-preservation, free market, procrastination, writer's block, child labor.
MESSAGE - Doing good selflessly is the best gift.