But anyways. I've heard a lot about The Christmas Candle lately, it being the Christmas season and all. I had heard that people seeing the movie (not the critics, however) liked the movie, that the costumes were good, and that it was an overall good, Christian movie. My parents and I went to see it in a theater that was playing it (which which had to do a little bit of driving to since it was only released in selected theaters) and we all watched it together one Sunday afternoon, which happened to be the first day of Advent.
I was expecting more familiar faces in this period drama, but there were a couple of familiar period drama faces in The Christmas Candle.
|Actor/Actress||Character||Also Seen In|
|Hans Matheson||David Richmond||Les Miserables (1998) as Marius|
|Samantha Barks||Emily Barstow||Les Miserables (2011) as Eponine|
|Lesley Manville||Bea Haddington||Cranford (2007) as Mrs. Rose|
|Sylvester McCoy||Edward Haddington||Doctor Who as the Seventh Doctor|
|Barbara Flynn||Lady Camdon||Cranford (2007) as Mrs. Jamieson, He Knew He Was Right as Mrs. French, various period dramas|
The Christmas Candle also features the acting debut of Susan Boyle who became famous after her performance on Britain's Got Talent. She played Eleanor Hopewell, the wife of the church's caretaker.
While watching The Christmas Candle, I felt like the characters and overall feeling were very similar to Cranford (and not just because two actresses from Cranford were in this movie). The movie had an overall warm feeling to it, but it was not without serious moments (like Cranford). The characters in the story had their problems (like all of us do), but they were a hopeful set of characters who could find joy in their lives.
|David Richmond played by Hans Matheson|
|Emily Barstow played by Samantha Barks|
|Edward Haddington making candles and Bea Haddington|
behind him looking on.
Edward and Bea Haddington run the candle shop that the angel visits to bless the Christmas Candle. At times they were a bit scheming (at one point or another, one of them suggests that they keep the Christmas Candle for themselves to bring their son back to the family), but they were still a likable couple. It is early in the story that they lose the Christmas Candle by accident and decide to give everyone in the town a candle and tell them to light it and pray (they didn't say that it was the Christmas Candle, but they lead everyone to believe they had it). But still, they were a likable, sympathetic couple. Spoiler My favorite part with them was at the end of the story when they find out that they have a grandson by a girl, Ruth, who was abandoned by their son. They decide to care for both Ruth and her child, who she names after her father, Edward (which also happens to be the name of Mr. Haddington)! End of Spoiler
|Barbara Flynn as Lady Camdon|
Another period drama with excellent scenery! Though the story takes place in the winter time, there were still plenty of lovely scenes around. Unlike a lot of stories that take place in the winter, there were plenty of scenes were there was not snow on the ground, despite the story taking place in Advent. I think that it made it more realistic: I don't know about where all of you live, but where I am, sometimes the Christmas season comes and there is no snow on the ground for quite some time. Don't worry, the snow does come eventually, but not for awhile.
One of the things that people love about this movie is the costumes, and I would have to agree. The costumes in here were very lovely! There was a good mixture of middle class/upper class attire and lower class attire, so there is a wide range of costumes in this film. Though the movie takes place in 1890, the fashions were very late 1880s; this is probably due to the fact that Gladbury is a country town, so the latest fashions from London (mutton sleeves, no bustle, shirtwaists, etc.) probably didn't make it to the country until later. From what I understand, the person who did the costuming for Lark Rise to Candleford did the costuming for this movie -- you can tell that both sets of costumes were similar.
|Susan Boyle as Eleanor Hopewell. Mr and Mrs. Hopewell|
are caretakers of the church.
The highlight of the music is Susan Boyle's singing. She did a wonderful job singing. But aside from Susan Boyle, the movie did have some nice music. While there were some Christmas carols, there weren't that many of them; in fact, the songs that Susan Boyle did sing were not Christmas carols, but (I think) were new songs. To the disappointment of some fans of Les Miserables, Samantha Barks does not have any singing numbers.
I thought it was a good movie and I'm not sorry that I watched it, but I probably won't be seeing it again in the near future. It was a sweet movie and is great around Christmas time, but it's just not one of those movies that you see over and over again. Still, I don't understand why critics dislike the movie so much; sure, it wasn't the best movie ever, but it was a decent movie. Maybe it's because this movie is an actual family friendly movie which is boring to them. But I'm just speculating here. The acting was good, the storyline was sweet, the costuming great. This is a worthy period drama.
The film is rated PG for mild thematic events. I would consider this to be a family friendly movie. There might be a couple of scenes that might be considered frightening. There is a light fixture malfunction that causes a fire in the church. One person dies. Another person has consumption and is very sick Spoiler (don't worry, he doesn't die, but makes a full recovery. Not sure how accurate that is, but hey.) End of Spoiler. A character has a child out of wedlock and the father abandoned them (Spoiler However the paternal grandparents compassionately take both mother and child in End of Spoiler).
The Christmas Candle is playing in selected theaters now. It runs for 100 minutes.