A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), his teenage bride Euphemia "Effie" Gray (Dakota Fanning), and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge).
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Based on the real-life scandal that shocked Victorian-era England, this movie tells the story of Euphemia "Effie" Gray (Dakota Fanning). At nineteen, she married the prominent art historian and critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), but Ruskin refused to consummate their marriage. Lonely and frustrated, Effie is drawn to pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge), and finds a friend and champion in Lady Elizabeth Eastlake (Dame Emma Thompson). After five years trapped in a loveless marriage, Effie will defy the rules of Victorian society.Written by
The real Effie Gray was from Perth, Scotland. However, this movie opted for an all English accent cast. See more »
When Effie and Ruskin go to the academy dinner (where Effie sees Millais for the first time), several paintings on display were not actually painted until some years later, notably Holman Hunt's 'Valentine Rescuing Sylvia' that Ruskin discusses in his speech about art, Millais' 'Ophelia' and also his 'The Order of Release'. (This could be considered foreshadowing, as Effie was the model for this painting in 1853) See more »
Once, a beautiful young girl lived in a very cold house in Scotland. The house was cold because someone's grandfather killed himself there. One day, the grandson came to visit the house. He thought the beautiful girl was an angel came down to Earth. The grandson worked very hard. He read and thought and drew and wrote. He wrote a fairy story just for her. She was twelve years old. His mother and father were kind, but his were wicked. When she grew up, he married her.
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Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) is the eager teenage bride to prominent art academic John Ruskin (Greg Wise). On the other hand, he is cold to her affections. His unreasonably overprotective mother (Julie Walters) tells her to leave him alone to his work. He champions pre-Raphaelite paintings and John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) in particular. Sir Charles Eastlake is the president of the academy and his progressive wife (Emma Thompson) befriends Effie. Effie grows lonely in the stifling home and more attracted to Millais setting off a scandal in Victorian England.
The first half is dull like John Ruskin. There are snippets of goodness from Walters and Thompson. Fanning is captured by the costume drama. Sturridge starts to make himself known at the midpoint. The slow pacing really kills this. Society has imprisoned Effie and the narrative has imprisoned this movie. One way to empower Effie would be to make her more compelling and more capable in the artistic world. Is John Ruskin supposed to be closeted and can they make that part of the story? This movie needs something to energize it and spice it up.
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