The Invisible Woman
R, 1 HR., 51 MINS.
It’s a pleasure to see Ralph Fiennes, in the second film he’s directed, abandon his reticence to play Charles Dickens as an ebullient, laughing mensch [MDASH] a Victorian rock star whose literary celebrity masks his hunger for love. Dickens’ wife has borne him 10 children, but the two have little communion. So when he meets Nelly (Felicity Jones), a young actress with a yen for his novels, he falls for her but must keep their bond a secret. Alas, the impeccably shot film dribbles more than it builds. B- —Owen Gleiberman
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 33 MINS.
An audacious doc that explores how divorce in America became a $50 billion-a-year industry. At first we think, “It’s the lawyers, stupid!” But the director, Joe Sorge, targets the egregiously unregulated family-court system, with its conflicts of interest between lawyers and judges that wind up draining couples’ bank accounts. The film asks: Isn’t there something wrong in a system that hurts those who are already suffering? B+ —Owen Gleiberman
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 36 MINS.
Lyrically told and lushly shot, this film-festival favorite finds its center in Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo, a Laotian boy struggling to survive in a country ruled by superstition and still ravaged by a decades-old war. His refusal to go for child-star cute makes even the feel-good bits feel earned. B+ —Leah Greenblatt