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TIFF 2013 Review: The Invisible Woman


The Invisible Woman
Special Presentation

It’s hard to resist the passion of Ralph Fiennes. As with Coriolanus, his first time stint as director, The Invisible Woman is presented with a sense that Fiennes supremely enjoys his work and truly wants to share stories he loves that may not be especially well known; even if they are violent or tragic.

This is a different film than the Shakespearean Coriolanus, here telling of author Charles Dickens’ love affair with the young actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones).

Fiennes is Dickens, playing him as a warm, exuberant, and easily excited man; we meet him directing a play, happy to introduce his large family to some new additions – his wife is last to be noted. He seems to gallop around, as elated to say hello and welcome people as he is to helm a stage show.

It’s wonderful to watch Fiennes prance about and charm in an honest fashion, but he is immediately taken with a new addition to the cast. She is admirer, a breath of freshness, curiosity, and beauty who enters Dickens world. Fiennes frames their meeting and affair as a flash back, for the story opens with Ternan a teacher, and an often distracted one at that.

On whole, the film isn’t especially novel, so to speak, rather restrained and not particularly passionate, but is buoyed by two great leading performances. Watch closely, for there is a strange moment where Dickens seems to inhabit a maniacal Walter White, but it’s fleeting and never broached again.

Monday September 9 – Visa Screening Room (Elgin) – 6:00 PM
Tuesday September 10 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 – 11:45 AM

[star v=25]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.