Showing posts with label felicity jones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label felicity jones. Show all posts

30 January 2014

Forbidden Love - The Invisible Woman Feature

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The theme of forbidden love has formed the basis of many romantic dramas; fuelling scenes of passion, desire, and devotion. The latest film to add to the line-up is The Invisible Woman, the true story of Charles Dickens and his young mistress, actress Nelly Ternan. Ralph Fiennes directs himself as Dickens, with Felicity Jones as the young beautiful actress. Nelly is forced to remain an ‘invisible’ muse and lover to hide the scandalous relationship from the world. To mark the February 7th release in cinemas, here is a look at eight films about forbidden love.

The Graduate (1967)

Starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, The Graduate tells the story of Benjamin Braddock and his affair the wife of one of his father’s business partners, Mrs. Robinson. Having recently graduated from college, Ben meets Mrs. Robinson upon arriving home and they begin their short-lived affair. However, his past comes back to haunt him as Ben finds himself falling in love with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. The Graduate, a hugely influential coming of age comedy, hilariously tells one of the most tense and noteworthy love stories in film.

Water for Elephants (2011)

When his parents die in a car accident before he finishes his veterinary studies, Jacob Jankowski falls into a new life in the circus. It is here that he meets Marlena, the young wife of the ill-tempered and unstable circus owner, August. Jacob soon falls in love with Marlena, and she with Jacob. August’s violent nature threatens their lives and the livelihood of the circus. Based on the novel, Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, depicts the whirlwind love affair of Jacob and Marlena and how two people will beat all obstacles to be together.

Lolita (1997)

In this forbidden love affair based on the famous Nabokov novel, Humbert Humbert falls in love with his land lady’s 14 year old daughter, Dolores “Lolita” Haze. Humbert, a British professor who moved to the US to teach, marries Charlotte Haze, in order to stay close to Lolita. Lolita proving to be much more mature than her age begins a relationship with her step father. The gripping tale of Lolita, starring Melanie Griffith and Jeremy Irons, with Dominique Swain as Dolores, is filled with romance, guilt, jealousy, and perfectly depicts the ultimate price one might pay for forbidden love.

In The Mood for Love (2000)

Newspaper editor, Chow Mo-Wan, moves into a new building with his wife and at the same time, Su Li-Zhen, a beautiful secretary, moves into the building with her husband. Chow and Li-Zhen form a friendship and begin spending time together as their spouses are away. However, they soon find out their significant others are having an affair and vow to not be like their unfaithful spouses, yet find comfort in their growing relationship. Set in Hong Kong in 1962, In the Mood for Love, starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, beautifully illustrates the growing love between two individuals and their resistance to give into passionate feelings.

The Scarlett Letter (1995)

Seeking independence from 17th century England, Hester Prynne arrives to Massachusetts Bay Colony awaiting the arrival of her husband from England. While befriending other outsiders in the colony, Hester falls for young pastor Arthur Dimmesdale. Soon, Hester bears their child, after rumour of her husband’s death reaches her. On the day Hester is made to wear a scarlet A, her husband arrives very much alive and seeks revenge on her love and his own wife. The Scarlet Letter, starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman, shows that sometimes love will overcome every rule and all humiliation.

Romeo and Juliet (1996)

Retold in a modern day Verona, Romeo and Juliet remains the timeless story of star crossed lovers. The Montague and the Capulet families are fierce, feuding enemies when their children meet and fall in love. The two have hidden their love from their families and soon meet their tragic destiny. Still preserving the original dialogue from the Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, starring young Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes, is one of the greatest forbidden love stories told.

Titanic (1997)

101 year old Rose DeWitt Butaker tells the story of her romantic adventure on the Titanic, and her discovery of true love, to her granddaughter and the crew aboard the Keldysh research ship. While aboard the Titanic, Rose met Jack Dawson, a spirited artist with whom she soon fell in love. When the Titanic went down, Jack lost his life, but Rose used his name to disappear from her mother and fiancé. 84 years later, Rose recalls this story as the crew searches for remnants of the wreck her nearly priceless lost jewellery. A beautifully told story of love lost, Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is one of the most spectacular stories of forbidden love.

The Invisible Woman (2013)

Set in 19th century England, The Invisible Woman illustrates the illicit love affair between Charles Dickens and young actress, Ellen Ternan. At the height of his success, an older Dickens meets 18 year old Nelly with whom he soon falls in love and begins a secret affair, eventually leaving his wife. To keep her reputation, Nelly must live a life of “invisibility” until Dickens’ death. An epic drama, starring the outstanding Ralph Fiennes and illustrious Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman passionately depicts what one must pay for love in an entrancing and heart wrenching film.


18 September 2013

The Invisible Woman - TIFF 2013

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Release Date:
9,10th September (TIFF) 17th& 19th October (LIFF)
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander,

In 2011 Ralph Fiennes made his brutally impressive directorial debut with Coriolanus, a raw back-to-basics modern retelling of the lesser known Shakespeare play. Fiennes second feature is a brave departure from this, a perfect opposite to Coriolanus. Essentially a love story, The Invisible Woman follows the relationship between Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his young lover Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), the pair had a controversial extra-marital affair that surpassed Dickens own marriage and continued on until his death at the age of 58.

Fiennes pays close attention to the roles of men and woman at the time in this, his carefully crafted essay on Victorian relationships and –more subtly- fame. The doomed role of the lover in a male writer’s life is perhaps the most heart wrenching aspect of the piece, carefully relayed in the fantastic performances of Jones and Joanna Scanlan- who personifies Victorian reserve in her often tragic portrayal of Dickens’ wife. As Nelly and Dickens draw closer and closer to the inevitable affair, the world around them sniffs scandal and forces them to take a more covert approach. Even if Dickens’ London is a man’s world, it is no place for divorce.

Fiennes is as magnetic as ever as the larger-than-life author at the height of his career. Tom Hollander deserves note for an energetic performance as the mischievous Wilkie Collins, the only grievance regarding Hollander would be his lack of screen time. The wonderful rapport between Fiennes and Hollander is electric and constitutes a large portion of the truly enjoyable scenes of the film. Bring on ‘Wilkie and Dickens: the college years’.

Here I have perhaps touched on the problem with Fiennes’ second feature: it is a period drama, and thus flirts consistently with surrendering to a certain brand of tedium. Aside from fantastic performance and Maria Djurkovic’s impressive production design-which ensures Fiennes’ Victorian London is realistic and aesthetically gorgeous, the film does lack that fine daring edge that might maintain the viewer’s absolute attention. Technicality, Fiennes is a good director, but merely good. His keen ear for diegetic sound helps pull the viewer into the world, but an as-of-yet unfound style leaves some of his frames wandering, left to be gathered by his actors. This leads us to another issue: particular scenes of magnetic performance, those between lovers and family, break the softly-spoken jib to deliver moments that surpass a large portion of the film.

The Invisible Woman is unfortunately a meandering film, beautifully realised but lacking in truly riveting subject matter. There are moments of startling clarity and splendour, a stand out performance from Felicity Jones, but by the end a point could be raised that there’s more beauty than brawn at work here.


Scott Clark