The Invisible Woman, 2013
By Ali Tenenbaum
Dickensian to the core – whatever that means! The whole thing is a bit sentimental for me but it succeeds as a period tale about the woman who becomes Charles Dickens’ secret lover for a large part of his life. Charlie is wildly successful and famous, but dissatisfied with his boring pedestrian and ghastly unattractive wife (almost comically so-Dickensian!). Just like a celebrity, he takes up with a young muse: a thoughtful and spritely theater girl with no talent. Everyone is clad in bonnets and crinolines, horses and buggies plod through the dark, cold nights of small town England (Dickensian!). It is a sad tale indeed and an interesting take on a time when women had so few options or any control over their own lives.
The film succeeds because Ralph Fiennes is skilled at movie making and acting. It sweeps you to and fro and jostles you about, as period pieces tend to do. And it’s Calgon-Take-Me-Away (am I dating myself?) moments are fully in effect.
Kids will fall asleep but granny will LOVE it.
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