Felicity-Jones-in-The-Invisible-WomanBy far one of the finest films I’ve seen all year, Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman is coming in as a strong contender in this year’s wide-open awards season, and after dazzling on the festival circuit in recent months, it will soon be heading into cinemas stateside over the very busy Christmas period.

Fiennes is absolutely fantastic in the male lead as Charles Dickens, and the chemistry that he and Felicity Jones share on screen is electric, with both very much worthy of Best Actor/Actress nods come January.

The film marks Fiennes’ sophomore feature in the director’s chair, and we’ve seen little from it since the first trailer launched last month. But now Sony Classics has released a handful of great new images, teasing a look at what is arguably the best period drama of the year.

Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity.

Dickens – famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success – falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens – a brilliant amateur actor – a man more emotionally coherent on the page or on stage, than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens’ passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and for Nelly a life of “invisibility”.

Fiennes and Jones head up a great cast, joined by Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Joanna Scanlan, Perdita Weeks, Amanda Hale, Tom Burke, John Kavanagh, and Michael Marcus.

Fiennes is directing from a script penned by Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady), adapting the original book, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, by Claire Tomalin, with Morgan certainly a strong contender in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.

The Invisible Woman will begin its limited US release on Christmas Day, with SPC expanding its release in successive weeks. Here in the UK, it will be touching down slightly later, on 7th February, which still makes it eligible for the BAFTAs just over a week later. For now, here are the new images, all of which you can click through to enlarge.