Did you know that at the height of his career, Charles Dickens met a much younger woman who became his lover until his death? I didn’t know much of his private life until today when I went to the movie “The Invisible Woman.”
The rich character piece is filmed as a flashback between the life of Dickens and the post-life era of Dickens. The mysterious title refers to the young Nelly, an avid-admirer of the literary colossus, as she enters into a secret affair with her idol. She spends the best part of her youth amorously involved with the writer, but given that Dickens was a lot older, it was inevitable that she would outlive her lover.
The Invisible Woman paints Dickens as the talented and charitable man that he was, however we are also privy to a more sinister side of the wordsmith, as we learn of his malicious actions towards his wife as the camera takes its time for us to soak it all in.
Ralph Fiennes, known for his love of all things Shakespeare, is at the helm as well as plays the lead with considerable skill we’ve come to rely upon from him. Felicity Jones co-stars as Nelly. She brings virginal purity, and passion to the story as a woman whose long standing affair affected long after his death. A special bonus was Kristin Scott Thomas who portrays Nelly’s mother, and who can play so many different characters and always be credible.
I can recommend The Invisible Woman for being beautifully made, which is no surprise from the British, with beautiful costumes and scenery. However, be prepared that because it is a British film, it is also a bit slow unfolding.