Ralph Fiennes stars as Dickens, the 19th Century world-renowned author, in an adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. Based on a true story, the film centres on the relationship between an emotionally-charged Dickens with the young Nelly Ternan, a theatre actress played by Felicity Jones.
The older – and married – Dickens falls for the young thespian through their work together in the theatre. But given his marital status, it’s a forbidden love that both struggle to define in their complicated lives.
It’s a beautifully paced drama in which Fiennes adeptly reconstructs the identity of a gifted playwright, though one in need of acclamation and adoration. Meanwhile a brooding and ousted Mrs Dickens is played by Joanna Scanlan who manages to capture the desperation of the impossible situation as her philandering partner seeks companionship elsewhere.
The film opened to widespread acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival in the U.S and it’s easy to see why; simple but effective cinematography and terrifically strong performances by the experienced cast. It’s also noteworthy that Fiennes puts such heart into his role, when originally he had sought another actor to fill the author’s Victorian shoes. Only when he failed to convince his choice of the role did he rise out of the Director’s chair to star himself.
Reviewed by Tom Robertson
An attempt to send up what is becoming one of the biggest film franchises of our time, The Hunger Games, falls flat on its ugly face. Sadly, it’s one that looks as though it was made on a budget accumulated from the young cast pooling their pocket money. There’s nothing clever or entertaining in this 83 minutes of lamentable film, the only welcome part being the arrival of the credits.
Oh what a charmer this peculiar little movie is. Made in France, the story centres upon a little ladybird caught up in an adventure with a colony of black ants as they fight to protect their home from a rival army of intruding red ants. Animated bugs thrill in a real world setting without any dialogue, instead relying cleverly on a host of rich sound effects. Simply delightful.
Judith, played by the fresh-faced Jurnee Smollet-Bell works at a matchmaking agency owned by Janice, portrayed by the ever youthful Vanessa Williams. Married to her childhood sweetheart Brice, a down to earth, reliable pharmacist, she has quite the ordinary life. She meets Harley, played by Robbie Jones, a wealthy and elusive entrepreneur who she feels an undeniable attraction to. Her subsequent decisions and turbulent affair alter the very course of her life, propelling her into a situation blemished with recklessness and betrayal.
We all like a bit of a horror flick every now and again, so it’s with that in mind that Patrick: Evil Awakens is Y’s film choice for the week. This remake of the 1978 classic is an intelligent evolution of the script based in an isolated psychiatric ward.
Patrick, a brain dead patient, is subjected to tortuous treatment by a crazed doctor (Charles Dance). But when a young nurse attempts to protect the patient from the horrific ordeal, he uses his psychic powers to control her and exact pain and suffering on those around him. Moody, spooky and engaging, it’s an old school horror-thriller that treats the original story with respect.