Original title:Spirited
Director:Sean Anders
Release:Apple TV+
Running time:127 minutes
Release date:18 november 2022
Every Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present chooses a dark soul to be rescued by a visit from three spirits. But this time, he doesn't get the right Scrooge. Clint Briggs reverses the roles and it's the Ghost of Christmas Present who finds himself facing his past, present and future. In this hilarious musical variation of Dickens' work, The Christmas Carol is told for the first time from the point of view of ghosts.

Sophie Janinet's Review


This November 11 will mark the release in U.S. theaters of Spirited, the American musical directed by Sean Anders and starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, and Octavia Spencer, who shines so bright you will no doubt fall in love with her character. 

Although based on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", the movie tells a completely different story, way more modern than the old tale. As we recall, the initial story is that of Mr. Scrooge, an infamous businessman, as mean as he is cheap, who gets visited by the ghosts of his past, present and future. The purpose of which is to torment him until he repents, just in time to get into the generosity and kindness of the Christmas spirit.
Sean Anders, to whom we owe both the Bad Dads and How to Kill Your Boss movies, wrote this remake from the ghosts' perspective. In 2022, we find them to be highly skilled professionalized Christmas spirits. In their luxurious office, they are surrounded by assistants to help them in their task: to bring one human per year on the path of redemption.

Will Ferrel, who plays the ghost of the present, will therefore make it his mission to redeem Ryan Reynolds who is Clint Briggs, an unscrupulous businessman. A task that will prove more complicated than expected. It's difficult to say more without giving away the film, since the story then takes a different direction than the one we all know. 

We are easily drawn into this very well-acted comedy, which could easily surprise the audience. The four-star cast serves an entertaining script, with some hilarious lines, some of them quite meta (especially in reference to Dickens' tale and previous remakes of it).

With its inclusive cast, and many references to pop culture, the movie should please the fans of Ryan Reynolds, as his character sometimes proves to be as facetious as Deadpool himself, with that sense of humor that we all know and love, with trashiness taken down a notch.

But still, if Spirited is inspired by a tale, it is not a children's movie. Case and point: the credits start with Will Ferrell giving us both fingers. That mix of genres is what makes the movie stands out. While it has many codes of a Christmas movie, such as an overall feel-good vibe and a dose of moralizing tone, it also comes with a hint of provocation and irony which gives it a delicious taste of modernity. The Apple TV+ production is above all a musical, rhythmed by catchy songs and spectacular choreographies, costumes and lighting, which will delight the musical fans. 

Limited theatricals release this November 11 which is worth it for the lucky ones, as the movie theater definitely compliments this great show and makes it a more thrilling experience. It will be followed by the digital release on November 18, on Apple TV+.

Directed by Sean Anders
Written by Sean Anders, John Morris
Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Produced by Sean Anders, George Dewey, Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, John Morris, Ryan Reynolds
Starring  Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer
Cinematography : Kramer Morgenthau
Edited by Brad Wilhite
Music by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Dominic Lewis
Production companies : Apple Original Films, Gloria Sanchez Productions, Maximum Effort, Mosaic, Two Grown Men
Distributed by Apple Studios
Release dates : November 5, 2022 (AFI Fest), November 11, 2022 (United States), November 18, 2022 (Apple TV+)
Running time: 127 minutes

Seen on November 7, 2022 at the Crescent Theater (Beverly Hills, Los Angeles)

Sophie Janinet's Mark: