First Hit: This film had possibilities but really failed to deliver feeling.
This is a film about a famous writer (Charles Dickens) who meets a younger woman and keeps her as a secret girlfriend. So what is the interesting about this story - not a lot. Therefore it would have to be the acting of this story to make it compelling to watch.
From that end Ralph Fiennes (Dickens), Nelly, the younger woman, (Felicity Jones) and her mother Francis Ternan (Kristin Scott Thomas) did a good job of making the story interesting. However, by the next day it was gone, the thoughts, feelings and the story.
Even though there were strong attempts to share a story about breaking free from the norms of that society, there just wasn’t enough there to make this film unique or stimulating or even thought-provoking.
Fiennes was strong enough to be a good Dickens. Jones was the most interesting character. Her intelligence and clarity of action was very good. Scott Thomas was good as well. Abi Morgan wrote an adequate screen play about a mostly conventional subject matter. Fiennes had a good hand on the tiller of this story, but it was the story itself that lacked punch.
Overall: This was a many told story that lacked something unique.