In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
Based on the real-life scandal that shocked Victorian-era England, this movie tells the story of Euphemia "Effie" Gray. At nineteen, she married the prominent art historian and critic John Ruskin, but Ruskin refused to consummate their marriage. Lonely and frustrated, Effie is drawn to pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais, and finds a friend and champion in Lady Elizabeth Eastlake. After five years trapped in a loveless marriage, Effie will defy the rules of Victorian society.Written by
Effie Gray was married in 1848. In exterior shot, the train she then travels on is hauled by a locomotive of a design dating from 1934, consists of coaches dating from 1951 and is crossing a concrete viaduct the first of which was completed in 1898. 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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John Ruskin a famed social thinker, reformer, art critic and painter has his character thrashed in this film. Ruskin when he was 29 years old married Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) who was 19 years old. Not that great an age difference but clearly Greg Wise as John Ruskin looks too old and sadly too one note, then again his wife Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and also plays a supporting role as Lady Eastlake.
We are given very little to go on as to why Ruskin would not consummate the marriage, after all Effie is pretty which means either he was turned off by the female body or was homosexual. It probably did not help that Ruskin chose to live with his parents who seemed to have a heavy influence on the adult Ruskin.
Ruskin also encourages his wife to have a developing relationship with his art protégé Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) even if Millais at one point tells Ruskin how this would look to polite society.
The film does not tell you that after the annulment, Effie married Millais and Ruskin never married again.
This is a handsomely mounted leisurely paced film, there is some location filming in Venice but it is rather dreary, inert and conventional.
Wise and Sturridge are not the strongest actors. Fanning though is rather good, Derek Jacobi and James Fox are rather wasted in their cameos.
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