Title – The Invisible Woman (2013)
Director – Ralph Fiennes (Coriolanus)
Cast – Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Joanna Scanlan
Plot – The true life story of famed author Charles Dickins (Fiennes) and his love affair with the much younger Nelly (Jones) that causes him to not only revaluate his marriage but causes to question his public face in a nation that adored his works.
“Life is nothing without good company”
Review by Eddie on 20/01/2015
While he certainly has an eye for period detail and construction, actor/director Ralph Fiennes amiable yet worryingly cold Charles Dickins real life period romance is a hit and miss experience that is made more worthy by another fantastic lead performance from Brit Felicity Jones, who will more than likely be an awards frontrunner and a household name with her turn in the upcoming Stephen Hawking tale The Theory of Everything.
Following on from his curious Shakespeare adaptation of Coriolanus, Fiennes had set himself some task in the telling of an oft forgotten element to author Charles Dickins life, that being his romance and infatuation with much younger women and family friend Nelly played here by Jones. While Fiennes does a fine job of portraying Dickins both as an author and larger than life figure of the time he does not mount a successful case as to what really sparks the romance between Dickins and Nelly other than he was famous and she thought he was talented. It feels like a wasted opportunity to really portray something memorable out on screen between the two that being despite Jones charismatic and vulnerable turn.
Jones has over some stretch of time been carving out an impressive catalogue of turns from Like Crazy and Breathe In through to Cemetery Junction, Jones has shown herself time and time again to be a female lead of some sensitivity and stature and here as Nelly again shines in what would of no doubt been an industry calling card for her upcoming roles. Filling Nelly with smarts, charm and life Jones outshines her far more experienced co-actors and takes the film to a higher level that without her it would’ve failed to reach. Whenever Jones is on screen the film feels more like an event, when she is off screen it again goes back to a cold by the numbers tale that consistently threatens to derail the whole affair. Special mention must be also paid to actress Joanna Scanlan as Charles’s wife Catherine Dickins. Scanlan imbues Catherine with an air of grace and one wishes that she had gotten more screen time within the film.
A handsomely crafted yet predictable affair, one can’t help but feel Fiennes’s tale had more to give but thanks to Jones and her continued growth as an actress The Invisible Woman remains a film worthy of checking out and a tale that deserved to be told, especially for those many avid readers of Dickins who may’ve been unawares of his colourful real life dealings.
2 and a half fast paced beach walks out of 5