With Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and many others.
Despite the starloaded cast, this film, after its initial painful beginning of Effie Gray that gets turned down in her wedding night, is as dead as the sex life between the Ruskins. It took me ages to realize they didn’t try again. It bares the same subtleness that is used in Jane Austen novels, and so, when Effie meets Lady Eastlake again, this was the first time I had any idea of how much time apparently had passed.
It seems to me that the film tries to resemble Lady Chatterly’s Lover a bit, or Marie Antoinette, but given that Effie Gray is still a virgin after years, this simply isn’t true.
Well, not according to modern standards, where women are their own person. A point excellently made by Lady Eastlake, perfectly portrayed by the devine Emma Thompson.
Julie Walters portrays her mother-in-law-from-Hell part so subtle and yet so exquisitely aswell. You wouldn’t want to get on her wrong side indeed.
Other than that, this film doesn’t entertain much. There’s the very short scenes, in which the moments are caught that are supposedly showing how Effie and her Mr Ruskin do share their bit of love, but it is never clear why on earth he married her or the other way around. It seems that they ‘just did’.
It is not the kind of costumed drama I was hoping for, but if you like those, you will no doubt like this one, as it shows quite a lot of it. Unfortunately, the characters don’t get to show very much of themselves as I think the story didn’t allow them to do so.
Wouldn’t necessarily recommend, unless you’re a Thompson fan, because though very small, she has a part in it.