TIFF 2013: The Invisible Woman – Capsule Review

Director: Ralph Fiennes
Writers: Abi Morgan
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas
Runtime: 111 min
Rating: 14A

Ralph Fiennes returns with his second directorial work, The Invisible Woman. The film opens a window into the life of a forty-five-year-old Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), who, despite being married and having numerous children, falls in love with seventeen-year-old actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). The film exposes how the romance came to be, and the impact it had on both Dickens’s and Ternan’s lives. With opulent sets and costumes, The Invisible Woman is worthy of being classified as a great period piece. Expecting nothing less from Fiennes, his acting is exceptional. He delivers lines with great ease and has no trouble transforming himself into the acclaimed writer. Felicity Jones stars with an impressive performance as well, one that will surely consolidate her as a serious, talented actress. The rest of the cast is equally as impressive and they work well together as an ensemble. This ease is an obvious sign of a good script, one which is accurately written and full of beautiful instances. The costuming is very elaborate, helping with the immersion into the period that the film takes place within. The sets are of great quality as well, and the beautiful music fits the mood of the film perfectly. The film follows a common trend in recent period pieces, where a more modern cinematography is used. There are shots made with a handheld camera, and framing that gives the film a more updated feel. This style, however, does not mean that The Invisible Woman is a unique film. If anything, it makes for quite a regular period piece. Although it is needless to say that this film is a great work, it does leave one wishing that it were a bit more original.

Overall rating: 4.4/5

Photo Credit: Toronto International Film Festival