Monday, March 11, 2013

Reel People: Dakota Fanning is Effie Gray

The film is Effie. The film is directed by Richard Laxton, the screenplay is written by Emma Thompson.

Effie Gray

Euphemia "Effie" Gray was born in Perth, Scotland in 1828. As a young girl she became closely acquainted with John Ruskin, a family friend and also a very famous art critic and philanthropist of the Victoria era.

Almost 10 years older than Effie, John wrote the fantasy novel The King of Golden River for her when she was only twelve. The book written in 1841 would be formally published in 1851 and would go through a number of printings.

John Ruskin and Effie Gray would get married in 1848. Though married, they did not consummate their marriage. John had a tendency in marriage to be more reserved, while Effie was more flirtatious. It said that John gave a number of reasons for not consummating the marriage including not wanting children, to preserve Effie's beauty, and religious motives. When they were divorced five year's later the annulment proceedings indicated that John had found some "circumstances in her person" that prevented him from consummating the marriage.

Prior to the annulment in 1854, she met the painter John Everett Millais, for whom she modeled for during her marriage to Ruskin. She fell in love with Millais, and this helped motivate her desire to file for the annulment. After a public scandal, she would go on to marry Millais in 1855.

John and Effie Malias would have eight children between 1856 to 1868.

Effie was also publicly not allowed to attend certain functions due to the scandal, including not allowed in the presence of Queen Victoria.

In August of 1896 John Millais died. Effie would die just over a year later on December 23, 1897.


The film Effie explores the love triangle between Effie, John Ruskin, and John Millais. In addition to Dakota Fanning playing the part of Effie, the role of Ruskin is performed by Gary Wise and Millais by Tom Sturridge.

In addition to Emma Tompson having written the script, she will also co-star as author and critic Lady Eastlake, with James Fox and Sir Charles Eastlake. The film also feature Julie Walters, Robbie Coltran, Claudia Cardinale, and Derek Jacobi.

Only 19 herself, Dakota Fanning has had a great career. Will see receive awards attention, maybe even an Oscar nomination for portraying this Reel (Real) Person?

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