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THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

 
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At Theaters: 12/25/2013 On Video: 4/15/2014
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 51 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 600240
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
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Storyline Heading
Nelly, a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens, with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens -- famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success -- falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens -- a brilliant amateur actor -- a man more emotionally coherent on the page or on stage, than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens' passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and for Nelly a life of "invisibility."
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama Romantic - This is a period romantic drama based on a true story about classic author Charles Dickens. While for the most part one of those sedate costume films aimed at older adults, the film has an R rating due to sexual content, which makes the film inappropriate for kids.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Ralph Fiennes HARRY POTTER series, SKYFALL
Felicity Jones LIKE CRAZY, HYSTERIA
Kristin Scott Thomas ONLY GOD FORGIVES, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
Tom Hollander ABOUT TIME, THE SOLOIST
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Production Notes Heading
Breathing Life into THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
Portraying Charles Dickens
The Troupe: Casting THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
Creating the world of Dickens and Nelly
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: None.
SEX/NUDITY: Brief sex with unrelated nuidity.
VIOLENCE: Some blood.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent alcohol.
ACTION: None.
COMEDY: None.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Pictures © Sony Pictures Classics ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading

Roger Ebert Full Review
Excellent More mood piece than melodrama, Ralph Fiennes' "The Invisible Woman" brings extraordinary delicacy and cinematic intelligence to the true story of a love affair that Charles Dickens kept secret from the time he met then 18-year-old Nelly Ternan in 1857 until his death in 1870.

USA Today Full Review
Excellent The Invisible Woman is a meticulously rendered, tasteful and moving period drama. Artfully directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also stars, it chronicles a love affair that lasted for the last dozen years of the life of Charles Dickens. Fans of the author will be particularly enraptured. An emotionally incisive story, this account of the little-known relationship between Dickens in middle age and a much younger woman, named Nelly Ternan, moves at a stately pace.

NY Post Full Review
Above Average By refusing to consider that Dickens and Ternan ever brought each other any happiness, the movie is more Victorian in its attitudes than even some Victorians were.

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Margate, England 1885, a woman strides across a deserted beach. Isolated against the sea and sky she walks as if to forget, as if her life depends on it.

In a school hall a group of young boys and Reverend William Benham (John Kavanagh) are waiting for her to return. They are rehearsing a production of a play called No Thoroughfare: A Drama in Five Acts written by Dickens and Wilkie Collins. The woman is Nelly Wharton Robinson (Felicity Jones), the wife of the school's headmaster George Wharton Robinson [TOM BURKE]. For Nelly, the rehearsals are igniting memories of a lost life, one that is still haunting her.

Her distracted mood has caught the attention of the kindly Benham, a Dickens enthusiast. His gentle questioning nudges her thoughts back to the past when her life was changed by meeting Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes).

Nelly, then Ellen Ternan, is 18-years old and is performing with her mother, Mrs. Ternan (Kristin Scott Thomas), and sister Maria (Perdita Weeks), in Dickens' adaptation of his friend Wilkie Collins' (Tom Hollander) play, The Frozen Deep. With the eldest daughter Fanny (Amanda Hale), the Ternans are a cultured, lively family of touring actresses. Dickens is instantly drawn to them, particularly the young, beautiful and self-possessed Nelly.

Dickens is a man at the height of his fame. His work is read throughout the English-speaking world, he reads it publicly to huge audiences, he campaigns tirelessly on behalf of the poor and enjoys life as a literary star. But his marriage is faltering. Catherine Dickens (Joanna Scanlan) has borne him 10 children but is now confined to the edge of his life, unappreciated and no longer loved. She is no match for Dickens' forceful personality and he craves a woman who appreciates him and his work.

Nelly becomes the intense focus of Dickens' desire and she finds that her growing affection for him makes her emotionally and socially vulnerable. As Nelly and Dickens grow closer and the whispers of Victorian society become louder, the fears of those near to them intensify. Catherine Dickens is afraid of abandonment and ridicule, her children are distraught, and Mrs. Ternan is concerned for her daughter's reputation if the affair is revealed.

Nelly is introduced to Wilkie Collins' "hidden" mistress Caroline Graves (Michelle Fairley) and sees that Dickens may be suggesting a similar role for her. She angrily confronts him but he is insistent and she cannot ignore his passionate declarations. But Dickens will never marry her nor can his adoring public ever know that he has erred. When Dickens and Nelly are involved in a tragic accident in which she is injured, Nelly is confronted with Dickens' determination to keep her a secret. She finds herself accepting the painful reality of sharing Dickens with the world, as she begins a life as an "invisible woman."

The older Nelly finally speaks to Reverend Benham of what her relationship with Dickens has cost her and what she now understands.

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