Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Effie Gray’

Dakota Fanning

It’s no coincidence that Dakota Fanning’s Euphemia (nicknamed “Effie”) looks like she stepped out of a pre-Raphaelite painting. Within the first few minutes of Effie Gray, she lives out her storybook fantasy and becomes the teenage bride of John Ruskin (Greg Wise), the 19th-century art critic who championed the upstart painters of the pre-Raphaelite movement. (He also praised J.M.W. Turner, earning the critic a small, lisping appearance in Mr. Turner.) John is serious, cultured, talented, and passionate in his love of art. A life with him will sweep Effie out of rural Scotland and into the center of London’s cultural elite—or so naive Effie believes. John meanwhile appears to view her as a lovely social prop for his budding career. He quite literally flees from any physical or emotional engagement with his wife.

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