The actual facts are murky, but this biopic directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes depicts a secret relationship between Charles Dickens and actress Ellen Ternan.
The film depicts the alleged relationship between Dickens and an actress, Ellen Ternan (Felicity Jones of “Like Crazy”). The movie co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Ternan’s mother, Tom Hollander as writer Wilkie Collins, and “In the Loop” actress Joanna Scanlan as Dickens’ wife Catherine.
The beginning of the trailer shows the ending of a play, possibly the show “The Frozen Deep,” which was written by Dickens and in which Ternan acted. Later, Jones is seen with Scanlan.
“’Tis a fiction designed to entertain,” Scanlan tells Jones of Dickens’ work.
“Surely it is more than that,” Jones says. “It changes us.”
Fiennes and Jones are seen spending time together and later, someone offscreen asks Jones, “Do you love him?” and she replies, “He is married.”
“The Invisible Woman” is based on writer Claire Tomalin’s book of the same name which posits that Dickens and Ternan had a secret relationship and lived together for many years. The details of Dickens and Ternan’s relationship have never been entirely clear, with the circumstances of it much debated by historians. Dickens very publicly left his wife in 1858.
The movie opens Dec. 25 in the US.
Check out the trailer.