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The Invisible Woman (2013)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  21 February 2014 (UK)
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At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nelly (as Ms. Felicity Jones)
Rev. William Benham (as Mr. John Kavanagh)
Tom Attwood ...
Mr. Lambourne (as Mr. Tom Atwood)
Susanna Hislop ...
Mary (as Ms. Susanna Hislop)
Mr. George Wharton Robinson (as Mr. Tom Burke)
Tommy Curson-Smith ...
Geoffrey (as Mr. Tommy Curson-Smith)
Governor (as Mr. David Collings)
Michael Marcus ...
Charley Dickens (as Mr. Michael Marcus)
Mrs. Frances Ternan (as Ms. Kirstin Scott Thomas)
Maria Ternan (as Ms. Perdita Weeks)
Charles Dickens (as Mr. Ralph Fiennes)
Mr. Mark Lemon (as Mr. Richard McCabe)
Gabriel Vick ...
Mr. Berger (as Mr. Gabriel Vick)
Mr. Augustus Egg (as Mr. Mark Dexter)
Joseph Paxton ...
Mr. Pigott (as Mr. Joseph Paxton)


In the 1850s, Ellen Ternan is a minimally talented actress who catches the eye of the hailed British author, Charles Dickens. Bored with his intellectually unstimulating wife, Dickens takes the educated Ellen as his mistress with the cooperation of her mother. What follows is a stormy relationship with this literary giant who provides her with a life few women of her time can enjoy. Yet, Ellen is equally revolted by Charles' emotional cruelty and determination to keep her secret. In that conflict, Ellen must judge her own role in her life and decide if the price she pays is bearable. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 February 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La mujer invisible  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$27,136 (USA) (3 January 2014)


$1,233,347 (USA) (9 May 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones, who play lovers in this movie, also worked together in Cemetery Junction (2010), in which they played father and daughter. In a 2013 interview with Jones and Fiennes on NPR, Jones said that it was "weird" and "very Freudian" to go from playing one relationship to the other, but Fiennes disagreed, saying "It's just a job. Come on." See more »


Very early in the film, Dickens introduces a member of his acting troupe as "Mr. Berger" with a 'soft' g, like a j; moments later, he refers to him as "Mr. Berger" with the g pronounced as 'hard'. There's no explanation for this discrepancy. See more »


Charles Dickens: A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is a profound secret and mystery to every other.
Nelly: Until that secret is given to another to look after. And then perhaps two human creatures may know each other.
See more »


Referenced in Film 2015: Episode dated 5 February 2014 (2014) See more »


Irish Washerwoman
[Dickens dances with Nelly]
See more »

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User Reviews

Subtle and grown up...
20 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Watching this excellent subtle film develop provides an antidote to the standard wham bam don't bore the audience movies, the ones that get all the attention. This is gorgeous to look at, and it is thoughtful and fascinating for Dickens enthusiasts. Yes, it does take its time; it does challenge an audience to pay attention. It reveals another aspect to Charles Dickens genius, and it does so without adjusting our pleasure in the extraordinary books he wrote. To give ten stars is partly political, because this film does not merit an absolute score. But it gets its ten because others have rated it too low. The evocation of an 'early modern' life is beautifully suggested. The excellence of Claire Tomalin's fascinating book, on which the film is based, is only broadly sketched. The film would need to be a long running series to adequately explore and contain the book's riches. Fiennes has taken a broad brush because he has to. If it stimulates an audience to explore further then the book will flesh out some of the questions that remain hidden in the film. The real person that was Charles Dickens cannot be fully comprehended in a book or a film about him, but his energetic complexity and his constant invention of other lives is revealed in both. Neither the film or the book moralises or attempts to blame; what we see and read about is complex, and aspects of a very great writer are understood and revealed.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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