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The Invisible Woman (2013)

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2:13 | Trailer
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death.

Director:

Ralph Fiennes

Writers:

Abi Morgan, Claire Tomalin (book)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In the 1850s, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones) is a minimally talented actress who catches the eye of the hailed British author, Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes). Bored with his intellectually unstimulating wife, Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), Charles takes the educated Nelly as his mistress with the cooperation of her mother, Mrs. Frances Ternan (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas). What follows is a stormy relationship with this literary giant who provides her with a life few women of her time can enjoy. Yet, Nelly is equally revolted by Charles' emotional cruelty and determination to keep her secret. In that conflict, Nelly must judge her own role in her life and decide if the price she pays is bearable. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Charles Dickens' greatest story was the one he could never tell.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 February 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Woman See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,948, 29 December 2013

Gross USA:

$1,234,254

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,986,888
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was based on the book "The Invisible Woman" by Claire Tomalin. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. George Wharton Robinson: Our boys' curriculum is very wide. They perform a short play at the end of every term. Theater's an abiding interest of my wife... Ah, Mary, tea if you please.
Mary: [arriving late] Yes, sir.
Mr. George Wharton Robinson: Through the open door... Nelly, where were you? Mr. Benham has been here since 3:00.
Nelly: I'm so sorry. Mr. Lambourne has been organizing the boys best he can.
Mary: I lost all sense of time...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The full cast list (in order of appearance) is presented in the style of a Dickens era theatre programme, with contemporary font and the performers' names preceded by "Mr." or "Ms." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 5 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Three Fishers
Lyrics by Charles Kingsley
[the cast sings around the piano]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Ellen Lawless Ternan... that is my secret"
28 January 2014 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"The Invisible Woman" (2013 release; 111 min.) brings the story of how famous writer Charles Dickens falls in love with a much younger woman, Ellen "Nelly" Ternan". As the movie opens, we are told it is "Margrave, 1883", where we see Ellen and her husband George hang out with several family friends, Ellen is asked (as apparently happens often) about her "childhood" (which we later learn is really a misnomer) memories of Charles Dickens. The movie then goes to "Manchester, some years back" (in fact, the late 1850s), where we get to know Dickens (played by Ralph Fiennes) as he is trying to turn his book "The Frozen Deep" into a stage play. Then comes about the Ternan clan, mother and her 3 daughters, to act in the play. One of the daughters, Ellen ("Nelly"), only 18 at the time, gains the immediate attention of Dickens (a married man, and 20+ years her senior), and a slowly developing courtship starts to play out. What will become of the attraction between these two in a Victorian society where the rules are strict? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this movie is a tour de force for Ralph Fiennes who in addition to starring also directed this movie, I believe his debut as a director. His portrayal of Charles Dickens brims with energy. It is amazing to see how successful Dickens was in his day, truly getting the rock star treatment of that era. Second, the performance of Felicity Jones as Ellen oozes charm from start to finish. She is a veteran of the UK film and TV industry but not so well known on this side of the Atlantic. I think that can possibly change following this performance. Third, the production itself is done exquisitely and hence it is no surprise that this movie just scored an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. Last but not least, the movie does a great job bringing the dilemma between the feelings of the two protagonists on the one hand, and the demands/standards imposed by society on the other hand. At one point, Dickens asks Nelly to share a secret with him, and she informs him that her middle name is "Lawless". When she in turns asks for a secret from Dickens, he whispers "Ellen Lawless Ternan... that is my secret", wow.

I recently saw this movie at the Regal South Beach in Miami, and even though I saw it at a weekday matinée screening, the screening was quite well attended (leaning heavily towards women, I might add). It may be there there is a strong demand for this movie, which would be great, as this is certainly a movie that deserves to be seen. Bottom line: if you are in the mood for something that is miles away from your standard Hollywood fare, and learn a thing or two about Charles Dickens along the way, you cannot go wrong with this, be it in the theater or on DVD/Blu-ray. "The Invisible Woman" is worth checking out!


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