Ralph-Fiennes-and-Felicity-Jones-in-The-Invisible-WomanAfter his critically acclaimed directorial debut, Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes returns behind the camera for another adaptation, this time turning to the life of Charles Dickens for The Invisible Woman.

Due to make its world debut at TIFF next month, the first image of Fiennes and his leading co-star, Felicity Jones, arrived with the festival’s line-up last month. And now Sony Pictures Classics have confirmed its US release date, opening on Christmas Day in the US, priming it for a run come awards season.

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 are joined by a stellar cast, led 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 Hour), who adapts the original novel, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, by Claire Tomalin.

The film isn’t the only one SPC are likely to be campaigning for this year. They’ve also recently set a December 20th US release date for the Cannes hit, Le Passé (The Past), which won Bérénice Bejo Best Actress at the festival, along with writer-director Asghar Farhadi the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

They will also be releasing John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, led by Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, this October, which debuted at Sundance to very strong reviews.

The Invisible Woman is now officially set to be released on Christmas Day in the US, most likely in limited early release in New York and LA, before opening wider across the country in the New Year. Here in the UK, it will arrive on 7th February, 2014, three weeks after the Oscar nominations are due to be announced.