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The Invisible Woman (2013)
A jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces
A 6 or a 7? I went with 6, but would have preferred 6.5.
The film is beautifully made, which is no surprise, with beautiful costumes and scenery from the Victorian era, as well as being beautifully acted and well produced. However, although loosely based on the biographical book of the same name (The Invisible Woman), the plot line is vague and esoteric; that is, "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."
We see glimpses into the life and behaviors of Dickens, his mistress Ellen "Nelly" Ternan, and Dickens' wife, but the film provides little depth or detail, and certainly no explanation for the meaning of these glimpses, or even a clear time line. If you know enough about Dickens ahead of time it will make sense; if not, it will remain a mystery (such as, "what was that scene about?") unless you, as I did this morning, start learning more about Dickens' life as he lived it, including better understanding the book the film was based upon. We see otherwise unexplained glimpses into the life of Dickens and Nelly, some of which seem to be inaccurate dramatizations (poetic license?), which have little meaning on their own, and leave you wondering what just happened, and why was that important. You'll get the overall picture, but it will be like a jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces, some of which , because of those missing pieces, are actually incorrectly put together. If you're not already familiar with the life of Dickens and Ternan, read up on Dickens before you go, or be prepared to read up on him after you see the movie. But don't otherwise expect to come up with a clear picture of anything, except that Dickens and Ternan had a long-standing affair that affected her past his death.
Closed Circuit (2013)
I don't usually use the word "stupid" (at least, not this much)
Well made, well directed, well acted, nice cinematography, a well crafted film but an absolutely stupid and weak story, with little actual or meaningful content. The story makes complete sense, partly because it's simplistic, but only if you're prepared to accept the stupidity of a story in which characters are unbelievable, the government is completely stupid (yes, governments are stupid, but not this stupid), trained assassins are useless most of the time, there is (or would be if the stupid government had its way) a string of dead bodies laying around that would point directly to the government as the culprit(I told you this was a stupid government,even more so than the average stupid government), characters exist in the movie (and then are killed) just to further the story line but have no other purpose (good movies have better ways to further plot development), and the 1/2 million cameras on the streets on London that they point out in the story are completely useful at actually locating anyone. Well, I'll stop here. You know what I think.