The Invisible Woman [DVD] 
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Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this romantic drama adapted from Clare Tomalin's book about the relationship between celebrated 19th-century novelist Charles Dickens and his mistress. School teacher Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), now a wife and mother, looks back on her life as a young woman when, while working as an actress, she met the 45-year-old Dickens (Fiennes). Having become disenchanted with his wife Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), Dickens finds himself enamoured by the equally smitten Nelly and the two become romantically involved. However, they must keep their relationship a secret, meaning Nelly must live an almost invisible existence. The cast also includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander and Michelle Fairley.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is based on a special relationship between Charles Dickens and his so called mistress.
I ma a Dickens fan so I loved it. I have all his books in hard cover. Read more
Beautifully filmed and acted. While watching the story unfold, I thought the overwhelming sense of 'carnage' that an affair of this nature must have had, with all of the the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Martin Carroll
Great film. Felicity Jones is probably my favourite actress. She has real charisma and whatever film she appears in she is captivating. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter Monks
“The Invisible Woman” is a British movie that is based on a true story. Here are some basic facts about it:
** Directed by Ralph Fiennes
** Screenplay by Abi Morgan... Read more
This is about Charles Dickens and his wife and Ellen Ternan. Ellen Ternan is the invisible woman of the title. It's a good film but not one of my favourites.Published 4 months ago by June
Didn't enjoy this film at all, very slow, tried to watch it to the end but failed.Published 7 months ago by Scorch