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Invisible Woman 2014

Nelly [FELICITY JONES], a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, 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.

Runtime:
1 hour, 51 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Ralph Fiennes
Studio Lionsgate
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Loneliness, love and secrecy are at the heart of this beautiful story.

Loneliness is what Dickens feels, surrounded paradoxically as he is by admirers, well-wishers, friends and a large family.

Love is what he needs and does not have with a wife who cannot understand his complexities. Love is also what he feels for young Ellen Ternan (whom he affectionately calls Nelly), the 18-year-old daughter of an actress he knows and befriends. Love for Nelly is what she cannot feel for him, a much older man, and one who is married, however much she respects him as a writer and appreciates his generosity toward her family.

Secrecy is what must be maintained at all costs as the yearning of Dickens for her intensifies. She must be protected from scandal. Along with her charm, intelligence and beauty, her purity and integrity are what Dickens loves in her.

But all is quite problematic in the beginning because she will not yield to him. Her moral standards are higher than his, which he sees, and which in turn deepen his regard for her.

Dickens is caught in the trap of success, the prison of wealth and fame. A public man, the property of everyone, he is forced to scramble for private stolen moments. Work for him becomes compulsion and refuge, a place of isolation and silence where he can pause to breathe again.

What does Nelly represent to him? Radical change: freshness, freedom, hope, opportunity. While there is still time he wants a different kind of life, an honest one with love at its core. He is tired of the spectacle of respectability, the respectable face he must wear for everyone, even for his own family. This is his dilemma, his terrible irony.
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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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A simply beautiful film based on the book by Claire Tomalin. I saw this movie in the cinema and was absolutely stunned by it - really gorgeous art direction, lighting, acting, writing.... Ralph Fiennes directed himself in the lead, but there is no trace of self-indulgence, he's the perfect Dickens, and Tom Hollander is the perfect Wilkie Collins, and... Oh, just watch this lovely film! It's a terrific story (and it's true, pretty much all authenticated) and just brilliantly brought to the screen. Should have won all the awards going!
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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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