The Invisible Woman (2013)



Critic Consensus: Its deliberate pace will frustrate some viewers, but for fans of handsomely mounted period drama, The Invisible Woman offers visual as well as emotional cinematic nourishment.

Movie Info

Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens - famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success - falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens - a brilliant amateur actor - a man … More

Rating: R (for some sexual content)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Abi Morgan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 15, 2014
Box Office: $1.2M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


as Charles Dickens

as Wilkie Collins

as Charley Dickens

as Catherine Dickens

as Maria Ternan

as Mr. George Wharton

as Reverend Benham

as Fanny Ternan
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Invisible Woman

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Critic Reviews for The Invisible Woman

All Critics (142) | Top Critics (40)

Far more attentive to visual storytelling than most actors who step behind the camera, Fiennes conveys shifting dynamics through his characters' positions within the frame.

Full Review… | May 12, 2015
The Improper Bostonian

It's unhurried yet confident, familiar yet provocative. With fine cinematography by Robert Hardy (Blitz), most 'Expectations' will, indeed, be met.

Full Review… | October 10, 2014
Birmingham Mail

The performances are first-rate -- Fiennes and Jones are stellar, as are Kristin Scott Thomas as Nelly's mother and Tom Hollander as playwright Collins -- and the score and period details are sumptuous. But the film still drags.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
Willamette Week

The Invisible Woman is a beautiful picture with strong performances, but made unnecessarily convoluted.

Full Review… | August 18, 2014
Under the Radar

The Invisible Woman is so subtle and secretive that it sets a record as the most low-keyed of its usually feverish genre.

Full Review… | May 14, 2014
The Virginian-Pilot

The Invisible Woman is a fine-looking period piece and Fiennes has an eye for nuance as Dickens tries handling the public news of his private life in a world that has just discovered the thrill of newspaper gossip.

Full Review… | May 2, 2014

Audience Reviews for The Invisible Woman


The costume design and art direction are outstanding, though the usually reduced depth of field stands a bit in the way, and in its first half the story develops well the characters' mutual affinity but later sinks with Nelly's contrived, unconvincing feelings of being left aside by Dickens.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

Fiennes does well in his directorial debut, a look at early media sensation Charles Dickens and his choice to have an affair with a much younger woman in a time when such activity was frowned on and despite his very large family. The times are convincingly reconstructed but somehow the connection is muted. He wants her for the sex, and she wants security (same as it ever was) and so it was a chore caring about either of the leads, despite their being well played.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The Invisible Woman details a specific period of a particular time. The 13 year relationship between Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is not just a tale of love but of pain and regret as well. Occasionally the focus on this exclusive detail of the author's life doesn't always sustain the narrative. But more often than not, the production captures an era when traditional moral attitudes were held dear. Outwardly, Dickens was the passionate defender of home and family. But secretly his heart belonged to another . Even after separating from his wife, he continued to keep his association with Nelly a secret for fear of damaging her reputation. There were rumors, but he consistently maintained in public that Nelly was nothing less than a chaste woman. This endured for the rest of his life until 1870 when he died. These conventions seem archaic to modern audiences, but those social mores made this couple's guarded behavior necessary. Breaking implied codes of decency would condemn a woman's standing in the community. The threat forced people at least to maintain the appearance of adhering to accepted societal customs. I can understand why someone wouldn't appreciate the film's deliberate pace but that is precisely what I loved about it.

Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

The Invisible Woman Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)

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