Written by Emma Thompson, Effie is the story of the real-life marriage between artist and poet John Ruskin (Wise) to Effie Gray (Fanning) in 1854. Their marriage was notoriously unhappy as Ruskin, even though he was infatuated with Effie when she was a teenager, found something about her body “repugnant” and so couldn’t bring himself to consummate their union. Exactly what it was that disgusted him is still the subject of much debate.
Effie was forced to suffer through a loveless marriage and attacks by her in-laws (Walters and Jacobi) until taken under the wing of the kindly Lady Eastlake (Thompson). She eventually finds happiness with Ruskin’s protege, the artist John Everett Millais (Sturridge).
Richard Laxton (An Englishman In New York) is looking to shoot in October. The project’s had a rather turbulent journey to the screen as it was all ready to shoot last year (with a cast that included Orlanda Bloom) until playwright Gregory Murphy sued for copywright infringement due to alleged similarities between Thompson’s script and his play The Countess. That’s now been resolved, so on with the show.