The Invisible Woman 2013

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Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens ‚ famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success ‚ falls for Nelly. He is a brilliant amateur actor, a man more emotionally coherent on the page or on stage, than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens‚ passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and for Nelly a life of ‚invisibility‚.

Starring:
Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Invisible Woman

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 51 minutes
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander, Kristin Scott Thomas, Felicity Jones
Director Ralph Fiennes
Genres Drama
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 16 June 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 51 minutes
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander, Kristin Scott Thomas, Felicity Jones
Director Ralph Fiennes
Genres Drama
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 16 June 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Feb 2014
Format: DVD
Ralph Fiennes proved with Coriolanus that he was a director to watch (we were already keenly watching him on the other side of the camera) and here he becomes one of Britain`s most promising directors, as well as a versatile, enterprising and unpredictable actor.
I would never have thought of Fiennes as a shoo-in to play the Inimitable - as Dickens was known in his short though hectic lifetime - but, with the help of a beard and the costume department (who excel themselves throughout) as well as his own bursting intensity, he is suitably energetic and volatile, and manages to convince you, for much of the time, that you are indeed seeing the man, or as many aspects of him as humanly possible. I don`t believe there`s an actor alive who could embody the whole of Dickens: he was an unexplainable one-off!
The plainly pretty Felicity Jones is marvellous as his alleged lover Ellen "Nelly" Ternan, and Joanna Scanlon is perfect as his homely, forlorn, neglected but nonetheless tough-minded wife Catherine. Her pent-up tears, when they come, are heart-rending.
Perdita Weeks (radiant and perky) and Amanda Hale (warm and knowing) are excellent as Ellen`s amiable sisters, while Kristin Scott Thomas, in an uncharacteristically low-key role, is equally effective, and quietly touching, as their wisely compassionate actress mother.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
"The Invisible Woman" (2013 release; 111 min.) brings the story of how famous writer Charles Dickens falls in love with a much younger woman, Ellen "Nelly" Ternan". As the movie opens, we are told it is "Margrave, 1883", where we see Ellen and her husband George hang out with several family friends, Ellen is asked (as apparently happens often) about her "childhood" (which we later learn is really a misnomer) memories of Charles Dickens. The movie then goes to "Manchester, some years back" (in fact, the late 1850s), where we get to know Dickens (played by Ralph Fiennes) as he is trying to turn his book "The Frozen Deep" into a stage play. Then comes about the Ternan clan, mother and her 3 daughters, to act in the play. One of the daughters, Ellen ("Nelly"), only 18 at the time, gains the immediate attention of Dickens (a married man, and 20+ years her senior), and a slowly developing courtship starts to play out. What will become of the attraction between these two in a Victorian society where the rules are strict? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this film ie is a tour de force for Ralph Fiennes who in addition to starring also directed this movie, his debut as a director. His portrayal of Charles Dickens brims with energy. It is amazing to see how successful Dickens was in his day, truly getting the rock star treatment of that era. Second, the performance of Felicity Jones as Ellen oozes charm from start to finish. She is a veteran of the UK film and TV industry but not so well known on this side of the Atlantic. I think that is likely to change following this performance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sally seagull on 17 July 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a keen Dickens fan and also a fan of Claire Tomalin's biographies on which this is based, I expected to love this. I didn't.

Hard to put a finger on why except that it seemed dull and the characters were not well developed. Dickens wife, in particular, was portrayed in a very bad light.
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I watched 'Gunfight at the Corral' recently and, although I enjoyed the film, I was struck by there being no attempt whatsoever to make the principal actors resembles the real life characters they portrayed: Burt Lancaster (as Wyatt Earp) doesn't even support a joke shop moustache.
Not so in the film under discussion: the way Ralph Fiennes so closely resembles the real Charles Dickens is very impressive indeed and this raises the film from mere mediocrity to something better. The images are quite beautiful and the acting first rate so for these positive aspects alone this film is certainly worth watching. However it consists of a series of vignettes with no real beginning, middle or end; or, perhaps more accurately, no bits in between so that much remains unexplained.
Dickens is expertly portrayed as a flawed character: a party animal and exhibitionist but yet with a social conscience which he actually acts on. However he shows no conscience at all in his behaviour towards his wife (expertly portrayed by Joanna Scanlan) when he begins his love affair with the beautiful Nelly (Felicity Jones).
However, we must never just a book by its author.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Feb 2014
Format: DVD
Worth watching, this film is fairly true to Claire Tomalin’s respected biography of Nellie Tiernan, the eighteen-year-old from a talented but hard up acting family, who caught the eye of Dickens at the height of his fame in his mid-forties. Perhaps inevitably, the film loses an element of subtlety in making explicit what Tomalin only surmises, such as the fact that Nellie miscarried a child by Dickens.

Ralph Fiennes conveys a strong sense of Dickens’ charisma, his hyperactivity, and callous treatment of his wife once he became obsessed with Nellie. Felicity Jones portrays well the qualities that captivated Dickens: not just her beauty and youthful enjoyment of life, but a sensitive and reflective intellect that made her a real companion, able to discuss his work with him. One of the most poignant parts of the film is where we see how she is knowingly trapped like a fly in amber, a kept woman in an overlarge house from which a view of Windsor Castle ‘seems to float’ as in a dream. She has to become visible to safeguard the great man’s reputation.

It does not add to the tale of the relationship to sandwich it in lengthy flashbacks between scenes of Nellie in later life as the wife of a schoolmaster in 1880s Margate, haunted by memories of Dickens. Part of the problem is that she looks too young (she was in her forties by then). However, I was interested to discover that in 1876, six years after the death of Dickens, she married at the age of thirty-seven a man twelve years her junior, passing herself off as twenty-three i.e. she must have looked youthful for her age.

I was surprised that the film does not make clear the thirteen year duration of her relationship with Dickens, until his death.
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