I’m hearing that Ralph Fiennes‘ The Invisible Woman, a feminist-minded romantic drama that no one in the loop has spoken about for even a five-second stretch, will play at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. The screenplay by Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) is about a secret 13-year love affair between Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and young actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). The affair began in 1857 when Dickens was 45, and ended with his death from a stroke in 1870. (At age 58?)
Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones in the possibly Telluride-bound The Invisible Woman.
Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander costar.
This sounds intriguing as far as it goes, I suppose, but — I may as well admit it — Jones is not my idea of a smokin’ Victorian-era love object. I’m sorry but this was one reason I felt underwhelmed by Drake Doremus‘s Like Crazy.
Morgan’s script is based on Claire Tomalin‘s same-titled book. “The main reason that Nelly Ternan does not appear in most accounts of Charles Dickens was because he and others worked so hard to protect his image of respectable Victorian morality,” an Amazon reviewer writes. “After his death, Ternan kept quiet as well because of her fear of scandal and humiliation. The second reason had to do with Ternan’s origins: as an actress and as a member of an acting family, she belonged to a class of women not considered respectable. Ironically, Charles Dickens first met Ternan through his own fascination with the theatre: when her family were hired by his amateur theatrical company.
“After Dickens died in 1870, Nelly Ternan married a schoolmaster with whom she had two children.”
A BBC Films production, The Invisible Woman is slated to open in England on 2.7.14.