The Hollywood Reporter
There are many pleasures along the way, including the effective evocation of Victorian-era London.
In addition to being a rather fine addition to the Christmas-movie canon, the film marks a useful teaching tool — a better option for classroom screenings than any of the previous “Carol” adaptations, once students have finished reading the novella.
As a portrait of an author on the verge of a breakthrough, this is a run-of-the-mill, occasionally clumsy biopic; as for contextualizing Christmas, it never explains how it functioned before Dickens and only briefly mentions how it changed after him.
A well-intentioned but wearisome jolt of prefab holiday cheer.
The more that Nalluri tries to connect Dickens’ personal breakthroughs to those of his fictional character, the less authentic it feels. Inadvertently, this forgettable bauble ends up illustrating just how rare and precious true inspiration is.