Effie Gray

Effie Gray

Richard Laxton (2014)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Eminent critic John Ruskin, a key figure in the Victorian art scene, remains equally well known for his scandal-hit private life, which this period drama, written by Emma Thompson, explores from the perspective of his long-suffering spouse. Former child star Dakota Fanning looks every inch the big-eyed, pale-skinned Pre-Raphaelite heroine as the naive young bride who discovers her mother-dominated husband has little sexual interest in her, yet has little prospects of escaping marriage to this distinguished public figure. Note-perfect performances enhance this fascinating true story, with an excellent Greg Wise rendering the cruel but troubled Ruskin something of a tragic figure and Fanning unexpectedly affecting in the lead. Having fought off two separate plagiarism suits that delayed its release, the film generates potent, often claustrophobic drama while never losing our sympathy for the fragile, resilient Effie. The finesse and intelligence of the production owe much to Thompson's screenwriting skills, and she also enjoys a juicy supporting role as wise proto-feminist Lady Eastlake.


A Victorian woman is trapped in a loveless marriage to a celebrated art critic from the age of 19. She becomes a model for a painter her husband is promoting and falls in love with him. Inspired by the relationship and aided by a respected writer, she creates scandal by becoming the first woman to seek a divorce. Fact-based period drama, starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson.

Cast & Crew

Euphemia "Effie" Gray Dakota Fanning
John Everett Millais Tom Sturridge
John Ruskin Greg Wise
Lady Eastlake Emma Thompson
Mr Ruskin David Suchet
Margaret Cox Ruskin Julie Walters
Viscountess Claudia Cardinale
Doctor Robbie Coltrane
Sir Charles Eastlake James Fox
Travers Twiss Derek Jacobi
Rafael Riccardo Scamarcio
Sophie Gray Polly Dartford
George Russell Tovey
Anna Linda Bassett
Dante Gabriel Rossetti Sam Churchill
Director Richard Laxton
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 10 Oct 2014