The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Ralph Fiennes (2013)

12A Certificate


Our Score
The true story of the lengthy affair between author Charles Dickens and actress Ellen Ternan, some 27 years his junior, is depicted in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin's book. Expertly played by director/star Ralph Fiennes, the Dickens we meet here is a hugely popular writer and avuncular soul who's strangely unfulfilled because his wife, who has given birth to ten children, doesn't really understand his work. Enter 18-year-old "Nelly" Ternan, a jobbing actress who's besotted by Dickens's literary output, and soon realises the man himself is strongly attracted to her. Abi Morgan's screenplay frames the illicit consequences within the context of Ternan's later married life, where the strain of keeping her life-changing liaison a secret is beginning to take its toll. It's a dramatically effective approach, which keeps Felicity Jones's intricately observed, fully achieved performance centre stage, bringing to light both the circumscribed lives of Victorian women and the highly charged interdependence of author and actress. Fiennes's confident direction captures every nuance in a subtle, accomplished and intelligent piece of film-making.


Premiere. A Victorian teacher recalls her former life as an actress, and her relationship with Charles Dickens. She quickly becomes his lover and the inspiration for his work, but the strain of keeping their affair a secret takes its toll on her. Fact-based period drama, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, with Felicity Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Cast & Crew

Charles Dickens Ralph Fiennes
Ellen "Nelly" Ternan Felicity Jones
Mrs Ternan Kristin Scott Thomas
Wilkie Collins Tom Hollander
Catherine Dickens Joanna Scanlan
Maria Ternan Perdita Weeks
Fanny Ternan Amanda Hale
Mr George Wharton Robinson Tom Burke
Reverend Benham John Kavanagh
Charley Dickens Michael Marcus
Director Ralph Fiennes
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: LionsgateGuidance: Sex scenesAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Feb 2014