This is not a conventional period drama. Ralph Fiennes is going for something more complex and psychologically interesting in his adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book about Dickens’ abandonment of his wife and his affair with the actress Nelly Ternan. He also films it using methods usually found in contemporary films so there are few tableaux. The camera is active, mirroring the legendary hyperactivity of the great writer. He is portrayed with some warmth so that he is likeable in spite of his monstrous treatment of his wife.
All the performances are riveting, with Felicity Jones impressing as Nelly and Joanna Scanlan very moving as the rejected Mrs Dickens. Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander, amongst many others, offer support in minor roles. The costume design was Oscar nominated.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall