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Love, longing and 'The Invisible Woman'

Every year, the glut of serious films at the holiday season means that the best ones run the risk of getting overlooked, and it would be a shame if that happened to "The Invisible Woman." This might be the first film ever about the personal life of Charles Dickens, perhaps the English language's preeminent storyteller, and it turns out to be as compellingly dramatic as anything he put on the page. As directed by its star, Ralph Fiennes, "The Invisible Woman" is an exceptional film about love, longing and regret. Fiennes completely inhabits the great man's ebullient personality, and Felicity Jones plays Ellen Ternan, the mistress he managed to keep secret from the world at large for 13 years. It's further proof, if proof were needed, that classic filmmaking done with passion, sensitivity and intelligence results in cinema fully capable of blowing you away.

kenneth.turan@latimes.com

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