Film review: The Invisible Woman

It’s rather clear from the get-go that The Invisible Woman is nothing like Charles Dickens’ worlds, despite some heavy-handed attempts to join the two to each other. For all of the grime of Dickens’ best-known works, the story of his own life, if we go by this telling of it in this period drama, featured enough fame and fortune to last a lifetime but was boring and utterly non-eventful — apart from his overt relationship with a mistress, perhaps.

That mistress was named Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), and by the time she met Dickens, she had already read most of his works cover to cover and was one of his biggest admirers. Not one to shy away from an adoring fan, especially from a beautiful girl just reaching womanhood, the celebrated author quickly formed an attachment to her, and before we know it, people are whispering about them, which almost certainly means imminent social pariah status for those involved.

We simply do not care about her relationship with Dickens, which is simply deplorable, given the very overt reference to Nelly in the title. The scenes that ought to show her working through some unresolved emotions are pitiful in number and in strength, to the point that, whenever she does become teary-eyed, or glassy-eyed, we don’t know where this sudden rush of sentiment is coming from, and even if we did, we probably wouldn’t even care.

To read the full review, visit The Prague Post.

(Still of Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones in The Invisible Woman. Photo by David Appleby – © 2013 – Sony Pictures Classics)