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I Feel Lucky

By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. Revised 2nd January 2015.

With directorial approach to period personality and story telling heavily influenced by Jane Campion's "BRIGHT STAR" (2009), only there's nothing wonky about the costumes and Gillian Armstrong's "OSCAR AND LUCIDA" (1997) Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut gives us Charles Dickens (Fiennes). Dickens is a substantial man whose buttons are fashioned from garnet. He builds theatres, has many children, acts in his friend's plays, performs his own new novels with an eye on sales and falls for a young, pretty, smart and charming fan (Felicity Jones) who gets him. But then everyone's a fan.

These new characters in Dickens' life do not have time to make their own lace fom scratch. They scavenge bits and pieces in the nicest possible way from second hand items. Nelly (Felicity Jones) is the youngest of a family of independent women. They live on the stage and have a livelihood beholden to no man. Nelly is different from her mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) and sisters: Fanny and Mary. We come to understand she cannot act after the style of the day and is considered to be without that talent, that her talent lies elsewhere. And what independent idea does her mother decide on for her future and benefit? That her union with Mr. Dickens, who adores her

should be blessed, not by church or a minister but by her.

Fiennes takes his time walking through Nelly's personal, scandalised self. They get lost for a while in things that aren't what their life is about but then Dickens' finishes Great Expectations and Nelly remembers who he is and falls in love with him. She forgets her resistance, lives joyously and bears the man a baby.

At moments we observe Dickens' cheerful bluster as he takes his mistress to the home of his best friend Wilkie and the unmarried mother of Wilkie's children. They are in the business of doing something new, breaking down old social structures. Fiennes treats us to the exuberance of a good man and at times we can smell he doesn't bathe in the morning. He is a good man who is unused to dalliances but who can keep such happiness a secret.

It's superb in a quiet, stayed way. We watch, seated in the corner of drawing rooms, rooms quieted with brown, black and safe shadows.

Ralph Fiennes's "THE INVISIBLE WOMAN" (2012) was very about theatre and the delivery of lines. It was very about convention. We are introduced to good people who have the best of intentions and are

often star-struck.

Fiennes and Jones' supporting cast were particularly awesome. The minister (Dickens' fan) (?) hounding Nelly in her post-Dickens' life for her true identity and real association with him all the while not able to disguise a slightly odious attraction to her. Dickens' wife, Catherine (?). The uncomprehending and docile Catherine who resemblance to Queen Victoria probably played a part in Dickens' attraction to her. How wonderful.

The smart and sharp mother of Wilkie's children. Their wonderful home. There had to be a first.

They deal with their lives, deliver themselves from tedium, must make babies and are sincere. 7/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Ralph Fiennes's
Director Ralph Fiennes
Stars Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kirstin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander
Release Date 17th April 2014
Category Drama
Running Time 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes)

Distributor Hopscotch Films
Official Blurb "Written by Abi Morgan ("THE IRON LADY", "THE HOUR") and developed by BBC Films, "THE INVISIBLE WOMAN" is an adaptation of award-winning biographer Claire Tomalinís superbly researched account of the relationship between Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. The true story tells of the secret love affair between Dickens (Fiennes) and the young theatre actress Nelly Ternan (Jones). Dickens was 45 when he met Ternan, then 18, in 1857. Their relationship remained secret from the public, even after Dickens's separation from his wife the following year. Ternan travelled with the author for the rest of his life. After his death, she continued the Dickensian love of deception: she married a man 12 years her junior, having disguised her own age as 23, rather than 37; and hid her past relationship with the most famous writer of the day. As a result, Ternanís story is one of someone who almost wasnít there; who vanished into thin air. Her name, dates, family and experiences very nearly disappeared from the record for good. This exceptionally well-written project with a powerful emotion undercurrent and a quality filmmaking team, has all the traits to become a British classic." - Hopscotch Films PR