The Invisible Woman – movie review

Invisible_woman_posterIt should have been my dream movie: Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dickens, inappropriate love… but it wasn’t.

I went to see The Invisible Woman at the gorgeous Little Theatre in Bath. The film tells the story of the affair between Charles Dickens and the (very) young actress Nellie Ternan, and the disintegration of Dickens’s marriage.

It’s a beautifully made film, carefully crafted with lovely attention to the details of life at the time. In particular, the scene where the young Ternan women return home and attend to their unpacking, washing and stitching was really well done as are all the theatre scenes.

But by the second half of the film I was, well, bored. There was no passion between the two characters; perhaps that was the point, as Dickens pursues the reluctant Ternan until she eventually gives in. It rather annoyed me that the two never actually kiss; I think Fiennes’ bushy beard maybe prevented it…

Kristin Scott Thomas is, as always, perfect but the stand out performances came from Joanna Scanlan’s neglected wife Mrs Dickens, and Felicity Jones’s profile which is featured extensively.

Felicity Jones's profile
Felicity Jones’s profile

Overall, the film lacked a certain something – and judging by the comments in the theatre afterwards I think the whole audience felt the same.

The Little Theatre, by the by, is indeed very small. If you ever find yourself in Bath and in need of a film then I highly recommend going. Tickets are £9 and a beer will set you back £4.10 (steep, I know – I didn’t eat for the whole of the next day).

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