The life and loves of artist and critic John Ruskin.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Daniel Bossin
Robin Budd
...
Bill Copeland
Jamie Dudley
Annie Hart
...
...
Ephemera (voice)
Jeff Taylor
Geny Walters
John Wimbs
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The life and loves of artist and critic John Ruskin.

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Short | Biography | Drama

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9 October 2002 (Mexico)  »

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Ruskin  »

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A good effort from Chapple & Co.
21 October 2007 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

I was the one who submitted this film to IMDb back in...I think maybe 2002? It was on TMN, back when they'd show short films between regular-sized ones.

It was nice seeing Mark McKinney in a dramatic turn, almost a decade before he'd work with Guy Maddin on 'The Saddest Music in the World.' He plays Ruskin as a fastidious know-it-all with plenty of knowledge about art but little about women. This isn't much of a problem until he meets Effie (Neve Campbell), marries her, and is shocked on his wedding night to find out she isn't perfectly smooth in her bathing suit area, the way a sculpture or a painting would be.

Naturally, she's horrified, and when Ruskin sends her to the doctor, she writes Ruskin a "Dear John" letter telling him she's leaving him, citing the fact that the doctor would confirm that their marriage was never consummated. Cut to Ruskin talking about art and Effie fooling around with a young painter.

Neve, who must've made this right before flying to Hollywood and landing 'Party of Five,' doesn't say a word in the film's 13-minute running time. When the letter is read in voice-over, it's by a different actress. Neve's voice has never been her selling point, so no problem there.

I would've sat through another 90 minutes of this. The cinematography was great, McKinney (at the tail end of his legendary 'Kids in the Hall' years) gives it everything he can. Campbell is lovely, as always. The writing was super Canadian, and there were a few (very brief) points where the whole thing felt like one of those ridiculous Canadian history shorts that used to play at the theatres. But given more room to flesh it out, I think Chapple & Co. would've done a stand-up job.


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