Frances kept a close eye on her daughters Maria (Perdita Weeks) and Fanny (Amanda Hale), and the least talented of the brood, 18- year-old Nelly (Felicity Jones).

Mixing in theatrical circles, Nelly encountered socially awkward writer Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), who shamefully neglected his long-suffering wife, Catherine (Joanna Scanlan). Dickens' fascination with Nelly developed into something far deeper, but she was forced to lurk in the shadows for fear of tainting his reputation.

Based on the book by Claire Tomalin, The Invisible Woman is a well-crafted if emotionally stifled account of doomed love and its manifestation on the pages of Dickens' works.

Oscar-nominated actor Fiennes juggles responsibilities as director and actor.

In front of the camera, he and Jones deliver solid performances but their on-screen chemistry is almost as muted as the colour palette, while Scanlan is magnificent as the spouse, who begs Dickens to come to his senses.

“Don't be foolish. You cannot keep her a secret,” she snaps. A quotation from A Tale Of Two Cities, displayed at the beginning of the film, argues otherwise.