Thursday, December 16, 2010
Day 16: An Understated Humbug
Another snow day today which means we have only one calamity day left before we have to start making them up...and tomorrow is our last day of school before break and a lot of non-educational activities along with early releases from several schools in the district. So if we have a delay...we'll be there for like no time at all. And just think, if we hadn't had our block schedule this week I could have gotten all my classes quizzed and done for Xmas. Now, if we have school tomorrow, I will have to play catch up with two classes with a lot less time than usual...especially if there's a delay. I'm so glad I didn't start Act III of Caesar yesterday with my classes, otherwise I'd be real behind in January with half of them. Its enough to drive you insane I think. On the upside, I got the class list for our school's variety show done and can get that hung up on the walls tomorrow if we're in school. Anyway, its got me feeling a little Scrooged right now, something I don't want to feel the day before break starts. I'm sure it will all work out, but until it does its gonna be stressful. Speaking of Scrooge, I watched a real classic of Christmas today and one of the highest rated adaptations of Dickens' novella which features George C. Scott as that mean old mizer Ebeneezer Scrooge. Let's look at the 1984 television film A Christmas Carol.
We all know the story...a greedy and cold old man, who makes no secret his dislike of Christmas, is visited by his deceased business partner and three ghosts who show him the true meaning of Christmas. Its a touching, humorous, frightening, and sincere look at the human spirit and one that is so well-written that it comes as no surprise that it has been adapted so much and so often. I mean, if you turn on your television at Christmas at any random time you're very likely to find some of the more common adaptations and sometimes even one or two that you've never heard of. But this one is different because, despite its limitations in effects for being a television production, it features wonderful performances from its cast...particularly from Scott as Scrooge. Scott plays all the lines and beats that we are familiar with from our Scrooges, but Scott plays him with a fair amount of inner amusement at the hardships of others and with an understatement commonly seen in his acting. This is a Scrooge who is just as frightening to people when he speaks calmly and softly as he is in the rare times that he raises his voice. He delivers much of Scrooge's lines dry and with mild sarcasm rather than loud BAHs and grumps. This makes his Scrooge more of a real person and less of a caricature of a mean old grump. This also makes Scrooge seem more contemptible at the start and more believably changed at the end than most. The film also follows the book very faithfully and is sure to delight literature purists. See it this Christmas...its on instant watch on Netflix if you have it.