Charles Dickens has been attached to a great deal of controversy. He’s been called a racist. An anti-Semite. An adulterer. At least that last one can be romanticized. And it will, thanks to Ralph Fiennes! In his directorial debut Coriolanus, Fiennes celebrated William Shakespeare. Now, The English Patient star is working on a tribute to another great British writer in Invisible Woman, a story about Dickens’ extramarital affair with a much younger woman. It has been announced that Felicity Jones, who recently reminded us all just what it is to be in love in Like Crazy, will star as Dickens’ mistress in Fiennes’ film.
I’m not too certain what impact this woman had on Dickens’ life, or his writing, but my initial reaction to this film isn’t one of much eagerness. Sure, a great love story about the married, middle-aged novelist and an eighteen year-old girl could be interesting. But if you’re going to explore a writer as brilliant as ol’ Charlie D, then why focus on this aspect of his life specifically? Hopefully, the answer to this will be apparent in the film itself. This is just some premature skepticism.
On the bright side, Jones is the tops, and everybody seems to know it: Drake Doremus has cast her in his teacher-student romance film. Warren Beatty has cast her in his Howard Hughes film. And Fiennes has cast her here. Jones is no longer an invisible woman. Her career is heating up. Like crazy.