January 06, 2014

The Invisible Woman (2013)

The Invisible Woman (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Ralph Fiennes
Country: UK

Movie Review: Ralph Fiennes’ sophomore feature film, “The Invisible Woman”, goes into the late life of Charles Dickens (performed by the same Fiennes), focusing particularly in the agitated relationship with his secret, and much younger mistress, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). The screenplay was written by Abi Morgan (“Shame”, “The Iron Lady”), based on Claire Tomalin’s book from 1991 entitled “The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens”, but the outcome wasn’t so favorable. The film presented pace issues, which was aggravated along the time with Fiennes’ static approach and some coldness in performances. At first I thought it was an initial strategy in order to prepare us for what was coming next, but the story never really showed the passion it claims for its protagonists. In some way, the expressionless love depicted here, vulgarized their doubts and certainties, failing to give an exciting course to their problematic romance. I couldn’t feel sorry for them in the worst situations of their lives, and that was a clear sign that beautiful shots and a perfect recreation of the period, weren’t sufficient to hold my attention. Perhaps Fiennes wanted so much to avoid the sentimental traps and stereotypes, so common in this biographical period dramas, that he made “The Invisible Woman” with too much formality and passivity rather than with emotions, placing it in the limits of watchable.

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