(Mark Zsifkovitz as Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll, still from the film)
My friend Curiouser Archive uploaded a better quality version of the 2004 short film Sincerely Yours, Lewis Carroll recently on Youtube, and every time I watch this film (and yes, I have seen this several times now. I love it that much) I am struck with director and writer's mature approach to the life of Charles Dodgson. It is so far the only decent "biopic" of Lewis Carroll I have seen.
The film takes place a few years before 1862, when Dodgson told the Liddells Alice's adventures Underground. The film tells the story of the year Dodgson first discovered photography and the events in this year. The film does this via Dodgson's own diary excerpts and poems. Unlike other Carroll biopics, this film does not just centre on the Liddells and Alice Liddell. We are given far more insight into Dodgson's life and hobbies than in other fictionalized portrayals. As a result Dodgson feels much more like an actual person here and not a caricature or a monster. By ignoring sensationalist inaccuracies that Leach termed "the Carroll myth" entirely, this film presents a refreshingly realistic and biographically accurate Dodgson.
No, its not completely perfect, it could have been a wonderful full length film. No Duckworth, or Dodgson's intellectual adult friends aren't characters. But it is a decent start, and I hope it will inspire other filmmakers and writers to write more accurate portrayals, and look past the temptation to fulfill the myths Dodgson has much been subjected to.
After seeing so many terrible portrayals of Dodgson for my journal article, watching this was like throwing back curtains and letting the light in.
Highly, highly recommended :)