Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 24 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 04
Nothing invisible about this particular woman
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Nothing invisible about this particular woman

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
Now playing


Nelly Wharton Robinson (Felicity Jones) is not everything she appears to be. The loving wife and inspirational teacher is directing a production of No Thoroughfare: A Drama in Five Acts, a play written by the late Charles Dickens and frequent collaborator Wilkie Collins, for the boys school her husband, George (Tom Burke), is headmaster of. She catches the eye of Reverend William Benham (John Kavanagh), a fellow Dickens enthusiast, and he notices the young woman's unease whenever the topic of the author and his literary works is broached.

There's a reason for this.

Once upon a time Nelly Robinson was Ellen Ternan, who at 18 years of age had the good fortune to make Dickens' (Ralph Fiennes) acquaintance during the rehearsals of a staging of one of Collins' (Tom Hollander) plays. Ellen, her sisters and her mother Frances (Kristin Scott Thomas) were appearing in that production, and while all are happy to make friends with the author, it is Ellen, the youngest of the Ternans, who has captured his attention. Soon the pair are spending all of their spare time together, entering into a complicated relationship, where it is impossible for the world to ever know the depths of their mutual passions, even if all that both want is to be together as often as they can.

Based on the book by Claire Tomalin and adapted by screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady), Fiennes' sophomore directorial outing, The Invisible Woman, shines a light on a bit of history few know a darn thing about. It attempts to showcase Dickens stripped of his fame, showing him as a man with as many flaws and foibles as he has unassailable attributes. This story does not shy away from his failings, just as it strives to showcase his selfless side, his intelligently witty acumen continually on display even when words, ironically the very things he makes his living stringing together into popular works of literary fiction, begin to fail him.

It is all seen through Nelly/Ellen's eyes, the young woman looking back at a time in her life full of pain and suffering, yet just as overflowing with friendship, camaraderie and love. When Dickens is unwilling to deal with the stigma associated with either an affair or a divorce from his longtime wife Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), Ellen is put into the dubious position of being made invisible, having to decide whether their being together is worth removing herself from public life virtually altogether.

Intimately shot by cinematographer Rob Hardy (Shadow Dancer) and meticulously brought to life by production designer Maria Djurkovic (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), the movie is a handsomely constructed enterprise. Fiennes keeps the pace measured and methodical, but the movie itself never feels slow or plodding, everything building with an authentic intimacy that's completely genuine. Nothing is over the top, histrionics kept to a minimum, even a semi-climactic tragedy treated with methodically reserved respect that fits both the characters as well as the story itself rather beautifully.

As nice as all of this is, and it is rather wonderful, there are still moments where the film itself can't help but feel like a bigger budgeted British television production than a fully realized theatrical motion picture. As larger than life as the emotions might be, however, the story itself can seem rather small, Fiennes so intent on maintaining respect and showcasing restraint, he short-circuits pivotal dramatic moments in ways that feel entirely unintentional. There is an inadvertent sabotaging of the climactic twists and turns I found somewhat dispiriting, and as strong as the majority of the film might be, there were times where I almost couldn't help but feel slightly underwhelmed.

But what ultimately makes the movie an unmitigated success is the presence of Jones. As good as Fiennes is as Dickens, and he's terrific, none of this would matter in the slightest if the actress at the center of all the dramatics wasn't up to the challenge. And Jones is, crafting a complicated, delicately intimate portrait of a headstrong, whip-smart young woman faced with choices most of us can hardly fathom, let alone relate to. Yet she puts us right into the sole of Nelly's shoes, never asking for the viewer's forgiveness even as her performance delicately aches for their understanding. It's a mesmerizing portrait, one that continually surprises, everything building towards revelations that can't help but devastate, Jones delivering it all with a magnetic ease that's breathtaking.

From a directorial standpoint, Fiennes continues to grow; and as nicely handled as Coriolanus was, this is a more fully realized enterprise in all ways. He has an old school touch that allows the viewer to connect many of the dots for themselves without having the more melodramatic or schmaltzy elements of the story pushed down their throat with an iron first. He likes to let things breathe of their own accord, not over-sentimentalizing elements in order to generate a few unnecessary tears.

The movie can be a bit too prim, a bit too proper, echoing the time period's moralistic ethos in ways that can seem stilted and obtuse. Yet Fiennes' eye is a dynamic one, seeing right to the heart of Morgan's dexterous script with sharply acute meticulousness. When Jones' stupendous performance is thrown into the mix, The Invisible Woman materializes into greatness, the best of times to be found sifting through its romantic quagmire as gifted author and imprudent admirer look up into one another's eyes and wonder where this mutual infatuation will lead them.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

DO NOT MISS THIS PRODUCTION of The Normal Heart!
------------------------------
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? An interview with writer/director Arvin Chen
------------------------------
Close races, big performances highlight Grammy Awards
------------------------------
Nothing invisible about this particular woman
------------------------------
And the 2013 winners are ... Congratulations, Gypsy winners!
------------------------------
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute celebrates Black History Month
------------------------------
Justin Timberlake gives fans an unforgettable experience
------------------------------
Foster the People pumps up The Crocodile
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Vocal ecstasy: Angela Meade in recital
------------------------------
Familiar Devils Due carries tensions to term
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
Here comes a new drama queen
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News