Yes, finally a release date, a poster and a trailer for the much-anticipated, long-awaited film about Effie Gray and her ill-fated relationship with John Ruskin. Having waited what seems like forever for the film to be released, suffering many delays and deferrals and watching as Emma Thompson, writer and star, fought valiantly through the courts, finally it will be here in October. So why aren't I delighted?
|Effie Gray Thomas Richmond|
|Dakota Fanning as Effie, and I want her gloves.|
Sometimes the problem with a really good story is that it tells you more about the audience than the people involved in the story. What we know for sure, for absolute certain, is that John Ruskin married Euphemia Gray and then five years later their marriage was annulled on the grounds of non-consummation. They both agree (separately) that the reason that the relationship was not consummated was because Ruskin found her 'person' disgusting. Nothing to do with public hair, menstruation, little girls, little boys, big boys or anything. Therefore I trust that Emma Thompson has not got a scene in the film where Effie disrobes on her wedding night only for Ruskin to start screaming 'LADY PARTS! LADY PARTS! THE HORROR!' (much in the same way that I trusted that Fanny Cornforth wouldn't be cracking walnuts with her teeth in Desperate Romantics)...
|Dakota Fanning and Greg Wise as Mr and Mrs Ruskin|
The Victorians, much like us, love to apportion blame and back in the good old days all the blame would obviously be heaped on the woman. That is rubbish for all involved and so I don't blame Team Effie to want some payback, after all in order to get the marriage annulled she had to go through some god-awful tests and risk utter ruin for something that wasn't her fault really. But then I'm not convinced it was Ruskin's fault either. However, for ever more it has become his fault, eternally the fault of the old, weird, gay pedophile who could not bare his wife's pubic hair. That is some hatchet job.
|Tom Sturridge as Millais|
Look, you don't need me to tell you to go and see it, it will be wonderful entertainment and no doubt a feast for the eyes. I'd love to see more Pre-Raphaelite films, so let's make this one a success as I'm sure it will be. However, you are all smart people who read and question accepted biography, don't forget to remind people that the film is just entertainment. After all, the last time I saw Fanny Cornforth on screen, she was a nut spitting, illiterate cockney prostitute...
Oh yes, Ophelia on the poster? Really?
Effie Gray is out in the UK in October and you can have a look at the trailer here.