'Effie Gray', despite being a film about a secret love story, takes a very repressed approach to sexuality.
Critics have been divided about the latest British period drama to hit cinemas. Effie Gray is based on a notorious true scandal from the mid-19th century, and most reviews have commented that the buttoned-up approach leaves the film feeling more than a little dull.
Dakota Fanning stars in 'Effie Gray'
Indeed, for a film about a torrid love triangle, the movie only barely hints that there's any sex going on beyond lots of aching glances. Director Richard Laxton was clearly channelling Victorian timidity about these things, but there are spicier hints laced through Emma Thompson's script and the layered performances of the strong cast, including Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Julie Walters, David Suchet, Derek Jacobi and Thompson herself.
Continue reading: Effie Gray: Does It Take Victorian Repression Too Far?
Based on a notorious true story, this film takes a muted approach that matches the Victorian period and attitudes, which somewhat undermines the vivid emotions of the characters. It's a fascinating story about a woman caught in her society's harshly restrictive rules about women, and the script by Emma Thompson captures some strong observations, interaction and personal feelings, but the film is so dark and repressed that it ultimately feels a bit dull.
In the mid 19th century, Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) has been courted by noted art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) since she was only 12 years old, and he has waited for her to come of age to marry her. But as she moves in with his suffocating parents (Julie Walters and David Suchet) in London, Effie soon realises that she's trapped in a hopeless situation. While he's loving, John simply refuses to touch her, which makes her doubt her own intellect and femininity. She's befriended by Lady Eastlake (Thompson), who knows a thing or two about cold marriages and helps her make a plan. Then Effie and John travel to Scotland with John's protege, the painter Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge), and Effie begins to understand that there might be other possibilities out there.
Since the film is made in Victorian style, it leaves all of the heaving passion far beneath the surface. It's obvious that Effie (and the audience) are craving a bit of lusty bodice-ripping, but any action remains behind closed doors, only hinted at in the clever dialogue. This makes the film realistic and intriguing, but difficult to get a grip on. And instead of the scandalous love triangle of historical record, the film plays out more as a drama about a young woman working out a complex escape from male-dominated society. Even so, it's a compelling journey, with some remarkable twists and turns along the way, and the complex characters add plenty of detail.
Continue reading: Effie Gray Review
The trailer is released for Emma Thompson's new film starring Dakota Fanning in the title role
The first trailer for Dakota Fanning’s new film, Effie Gray, has hit appliances with video playing abilities everywhere and showcases Emma Thompson’s fourth scripted venture in which she also co-stars. The film is a British biographical production directed by Richard Laxton and charts one of history’s oddest Victorian love triangles between art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), his once childhood friend and subsequent wife, Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) and her eventual lover, painter John Everett Mallais (Tom Sturridge).
Dakota Fanning takes on the title role in Effie Gray
Ruskin was a hugely influential figure, particularly in the latter half of the 19th Century: scholarly; brilliant; but socially awkward. In 1848, he married flirtatious and beautiful Effie but their love story started badly when, on their wedding night, they failed to consummate their union.
Continue reading: Audiences Get A Glimpse Of Effie Gray
When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man ten years older than her, she feels no pleasure whatsoever. She is soon whisked away from her native Scotland and follows her husband as he travels to Venice in order to work on his book, 'The Stones of Venice'. People often notice that there is no love between the pair, and they drift apart during their time in Italy, with Effie spending her time walking the streets of Venice and spending more and more time with her husband's protégée John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). With the two steadily falling in love, the struggle between right and wrong rages within Effie, as she is forced to make the choice between what she is told, and what she wants.
Continue: Effie Gray Trailer
When the disturbed teen Matthew (Treadaway) comes home from hospital to live with his father (Wise), the tension is sharp enough to cut with a knife. And neither wants to talk to their care worker (Jennings). Both are still stunned by the disappearance of younger brother Tom (Palmer), who Matthew starts to see and hear around the grim London estate where they live. His best pal (Felton) thinks he's nuts, but a shy neighbour (Leeming) offers an understanding ear.
And as more strange things happen, Matthew starts to lose focus on reality.
Continue reading: The Disappeared Review
Date of birth
15th May, 1966
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