Set amidst the bustling industrialised order of nineteenth century London and the aesthetic splendour of Venice, this film promises to be as pleasing to the eye as its performances will be to any dramatic-savvy audience. Greg Wise (Thompson’s husband and star of Sense and Sensibility) plays an austere, furiously intelligent Ruskin, whose obsession with scholarship distracts him from his marital duties. Meanwhile Dakota Fanning (War of The Worlds, I Am Sam) is the neglected Effie, whose solitary existence in Venice leads her to a passionate love affair with Tom Sturridge’s (The Boat That Rocked) Millais. Much to the scandal of Victorian high society, the Ruskins pursued an annulment case, claiming the marriage had not been consummated in spite of the five years it had lasted. During the trial, Effie claimed Ruskin to be impotent whilst the latter accused her of having a bodily disfigurement.
Producer Giles Edwards has described Thompson’s script as ‘deeply compassionate, typically erudite and wholly heartbreaking’. Although the film was completed over eighteen months ago, legal issues resulted in a delayed release. That it will fill UK screens with yet another film about a famous Victorian painter (Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner will be released around the same time) is entirely coincidental. Nevertheless with a heart-rendering script and powerful additional performances from the likes of David Suchet, Derek Jacobi, Robbie Coltrane, James Fox and Claudia Cardinale, Effie Gray is unlikely to be overshadowed in quality.
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Acton Town (underground)|
On 10 Oct 14, 12:00 AM