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Scrooge: A Christmas Carol review – Netflix’s junky musical is a lump of coal

The voices of Olivia Colman, Luke Evans and Jessie Buckley can’t enliven an ugly, joyless retread of the Dickens classic

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Unless it’s A Christmas Carol, the delightful Charles Dickens classic that nobody will leave well enough alone. If only the latest iteration, Scrooge, were content to revisit a magical old favorite. Instead Netflix’s psychedelic musical drains and dilutes, trading the original’s wit and heart for belted-out ballads, flame balls and what appear to be fire-eyed and gravity-defying trolls.

Before you write off this review as uncharitably Scroogey, take note: four children, ages eight to 11, gathered round the television to attend the screening. Plied with mugs of sugary cocoa, a frighteningly willing audience heeded the call of duty. Three of them were howling in disdainful laughter by minute two. Up on the screen, an entire village had broken out into a song and dance routine in which they merrily proclaimed: “I Love Christmas!” The fourth child, taking her film critic duties very seriously, quietly scribbled on her notepad: “What the heck???”

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