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Spirited (12A)

Cast: Octavia Spencer, Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): John Morris, Sean Anders
Director: Sean Anders
Release Date: 18/11/2022 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 127mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Every year, spirits led by Jacob Marley select one despicable soul to redeem on Christmas Eve for the enrichment of mankind. Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come visit the chosen "perpetrator" and subject them to elaborate dramatic recreations of pivotal moments that shaped their inglorious destiny. This year, against the advice of Marley, the team pledges to rehabilitate misanthropic New York media consultant Clint Briggs, who trades in disinformation and division.


LondonNet Film Review

Spirited (12A) Film Review from LondonNet

Every year, spirits led by Jacob Marley (Patrick Page) select one despicable soul to redeem on Christmas Eve for the enrichment of mankind. Ghosts of Christmas Past (Sunita Mani), Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) and Christmas Yet To Come (Loren G Woods, voiced by Tracy Morgan) visit the chosen “perpetrator” and subject them to elaborate dramatic recreations of pivotal moments that shaped their inglorious destiny. “We haunt someone, make them a better person, then we sing about it,” cheerfully explains Christmas Present…

This year, against the advice of Marley, the team pledges to rehabilitate misanthropic New York media consultant Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds), who trades in disinformation and division with his long-suffering right-hand woman Kimberly (Octavia Spencer). The plan whirs into action but Clint is resistant to the usual heart-tugging tactics and his young niece Wren (Marlow Barkley) threatens to become a casualty of her uncle’s self-serving antics.

Spirited is a lavish song-and-dance spectacular, which gift wraps Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in glossy modern packaging. A toe-tapping songbook from Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul echoes the duo’s earlier work (The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen) but lacks an obvious earworm to rival This Is Me or You Will Be Found. Ferrell and Reynolds catalyse a likeable bromance, plying trademark comic schticks and sweetening a simplistic script co-written by director Sean Anders and John Morris that is saturated with festive cheer. Breathlessly staged musical numbers, including a heartfelt solo for Spencer, are crisply choreographed by Chloe Arnold, fittingly reaching a crescendo during the credits with the splashy Ripple (Cut Song).

– Sarah Lee


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