Saturday, July 16, 2016

Effie Gray 2014

     This screenplay is written by Emma Thompson and it’s based on a real-life scandal that shocked Victorian era England.  Euphemia Gray married art historian and critic John Ruskin on April 10, 1848.  She was 19 years old at the time of their marriage.  In the beginning, Effie is very happy and she has big plans for taking care of John.  They move into the family home at 31 Park Street, Mayfair, John’s parents and their housekeeper also live in the home.  Right away, Effie is informed that it is beneath her station to do any of the household jobs, even sewing or mending.  John’s mother seems to be constantly ready to belittle her son’s new wife.  Effie has no friends, no family and she begins to become weak, ill, losing her hair and listless in her loveless marriage.  She meets Lady Elizabeth Eastlake and she finally has someone to really talk with.  Lady Eastlake may also have a solution to Effie's problems?
     It must have only been because of the social mores of this period that John Ruskin married.  It seems it didn’t matter who the person was that he married, he could now say that he was married.  He didn’t want any children and he didn’t really need or want a wife.  He was perfectly content to continue his life in the same manner as before his marriage.  Effie was like an unread book or a lamp never turned on.  His parents didn’t have any relationship or feelings for Effie either, only for social decorum.  She meant nothing to them.  No wonder she started to have mental and physical difficulties in her constant isolation?  I had real sympathy for Effie because of her limited life and choices.  3* (This movie is OK)

104 min, Drama directed by Richard Laxton with Emma Thompson, Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Polly Dartford, Tom Herriott, Sam Churchill, Martin Keatman, Chis Haggart, Alex Best.

Note:  Imdb 5.9 out of 10, 43% critic 38% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 3.4* out of 5* with 80 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, London, England, UK; Scotland and Venice, Italy.  The real Effie Gray was from Perth, Scotland.  The film Mr. Turner includes the nineteenth century art critic John Ruskin.

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