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The Invisible Woman [Blu-ray]

125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nelly (Felicity Jones) is haunted by her past. Her memories take us back in time to follow the story of her exciting but fragile relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes). Dickens – famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success – falls for Nelly. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens’ passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and, for Nelly, a life of “invisibility”.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
"The Invisible Woman" (2013 release; 111 min.) brings the story of how famous writer Charles Dickens falls in love with a much younger woman, Ellen "Nelly" Ternan". As the movie opens, we are told it is "Margrave, 1883", where we see Ellen and her husband George hang out with several family friends, Ellen is asked (as apparently happens often) about her "childhood" (which we later learn is really a misnomer) memories of Charles Dickens. The movie then goes to "Manchester, some years back" (in fact, the late 1850s), where we get to know Dickens (played by Ralph Fiennes) as he is trying to turn his book "The Frozen Deep" into a stage play. Then comes about the Ternan clan, mother and her 3 daughters, to act in the play. One of the daughters, Ellen ("Nelly"), only 18 at the time, gains the immediate attention of Dickens (a married man, and 20+ years her senior), and a slowly developing courtship starts to play out. What will become of the attraction between these two in a Victorian society where the rules are strict? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this movie is a tour de force for Ralph Fiennes who in addition to starring also directed this movie, his debut as a director. His portrayal of Charles Dickens brims with energy. It is amazing to see how successful Dickens was in his day, truly getting the rock star treatment of that era. Second, the performance of Felicity Jones as Ellen oozes charm from start to finish. She is a veteran of the UK film and TV industry but not so well known on this side of the Atlantic. I think that is likely to change following this performance.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore on March 3, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
The sorrow and pain of romantic obsession are front and center in "The Invisible Woman," Ralph Fiennes' opulently somber drama about a little-known chapter of the life of Charles Dickens. Based on the biography by Claire Tomalin, "The Invisible Woman" is the story of the middle-aged Dickens (Fiennes), by then the most famous and beloved novelist in the world, becoming obsessed with Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), a teenage actress in a play Dickens directs and stars in. Dickens presses his suit to Nelly, who at first is unsure of her feelings for Dickens, despite her enormous admiration for him as a writer. Dickens, meanwhile, begins acting like a madman in his passion for Nelly, deserting his wife and ordering his family and friends to accept Nelly or else.

The combination of Victorian hypocrisy and illicit love hangs over the movie like a fog, so that it is a singularly claustrophobic viewing experience. However, the excellence of the performances--Fiennes, Jones, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Nelly's mother--makes the film worthwhile, as do the beautiful costumes and sets. In the end, "The Invisible Woman" is the story of a powerful man driven to remake the world around him in his image, and of a young woman left in the end to find a life and identity for herself. it is a rich, complex, and--yes--novelistic story.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Darren on April 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
In 1857, at age 45, Charles Dickens, the greatest novelist who ever lived, fell in love with an 18-year-old acting ingenue of modest talent named Ellen Ternan. Which only demonstrates, as if any further proof were needed, that even the greatest men are ruled by their glands before their heads. Over the course of the next 13 years until his death in 1870, he publicly separated from his wife for Ternan's sake, set up Ternan in at least 2 different handsome houses in the agreeable English countryside, and finally left her a legacy of 1,000 pounds together with an annual income from a large trust-fund that ensured that she'd never have to work the boards again. And, since mistresses of any era have to keep themselves fit and exciting, she was able to pass herself off as 23-year-old woman while in her late 30s, which presumably fooled (at least at first) the well-to-do young Oxford graduate she ended up marrying. She lived in comfort until her death in 1914, 44 years after her first famous paramour kicked the bucket. All in all, a highly successful and splendid life.

So why is "The Invisible Woman" so sad? Ominous cellos grind away on the soundtrack while a woman in black wanders alone on Camber Sands. The movie is telling the story of the misery of a famous man's mistress who must be hidden because of the intractable divorce laws and stuffy morality of the Victorian Age -- you know, the lonely burden of it all and all that -- but the historical record doesn't lend itself to such a tale. However, the historical record of anything is always incomplete, and inevitably a scholar with an axe to grind steps in to fill the gaps: in this case, one Claire Tomalin, on whose book this film is based.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By lily t. on April 18, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
'I so loathed the old man's touch, ' Miss Ternan is quoted as saying in respectable old age, after she, at age 37, had passed herself off as a 23 year old in order to marry.

And so that fact might account for the absolutely bloodless portrayal of Nely Ternan toward the writer in this depiction of Dickens' mid-life crises.

Dickens, in fact, deserved it, casting off his wife for the crime of getting fat and complacent after having ten of his children [ how many other pregnancies did she have, I wonder?]. The absolute cruelty with which he publicly denounced her, insisting his children side with him and have no contact with their mother was a true abomination, particularly in the case of a self styled champion of social causes.

Giving the best performance in the film, Joanna Scanlon brilliantly portrays Catherine Dickens, who no doubt swallowed a great deal of bitterness along with her emotions [ and lunches] as she shared the hyperactive Dickens' life and bed for over twenty years. Ralph Fiennes gives Dickens depth and dimension yet in the end emerges as a callow fame monger primarily concerned with his social standing, reputation and wealth.

Baby faced and rabbity lipped Felicity Jones with her modern good looks, which in no way resemble the real Miss Ternan's, pouts, stomps, cries, looks mournfully into empty space, strides across desolate beaches while bringing little of the intelligence Ternan was known for to the role. Whoever decided to make her blond and thus more doll like made a huge mistake. Additionally she looks all of twelve in her later scenes where she would have been in her 40's.
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