Effie Gray (film)

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Effie Gray
Directed by Richard Laxton
Produced by
Written by Emma Thompson
Music by Paul Cantelon
Cinematography Andrew Dunn
Edited by Kate Williams
Sovereign Films
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Effie Gray or Effie is a British biographical film directed by Richard Laxton and scheduled for release in 2014. Its subject is the love triangle involving Victorian art critic John Ruskin (played by Greg Wise), his wife, Euphemia "Effie" Gray (Dakota Fanning), and Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). The script was written by Emma Thompson, who also appears in the film as Lady Eastlake. The film is set in Venice and London.


Born in Scotland, Effie married Victorian art critic and historian John Ruskin when she was 19 years old and he was 29. Shortly after they married, Effie followed John to Venice, where he was working on his book The Stones of Venice. There, John was busy studying the many historic monuments of the city, and left Effie alone. Thus Effie spent her time between the busy streets of Venice and the frequent balls.

While visiting Scotland with her husband and his protegee the artist John Everett Millais, Effie and Millais fell in love. Though five years had passed since she married, John still had not consummated the marriage. Ultimately Effie sought and won in court the annulment of her marriage and she married John Millais. During the trial, Effie said her husband was impotent, while he argued that Effie's body had some disgusting feature.[1]

Copyright claims[edit]

Release of the film, originally titled Effie, was delayed by a series of court actions for breach of copyright. Eve Pomerance, author of two scripts on the same subject as Thompson's screenplay, brought the first case. One of the scripts had been produced as a play. The judge ruled in December 2012 that Thompson's script was not in breach of copyright and could be released.[2] Another copyright dispute, with playwright Gregory Murphy, also the author of a play and screenplay on the same topic,[3] was decided in Emma Thompson's favour in March 2013.[4][5] Gregory Murphy is appealing the ruling.[5][6] The lawsuits have led to repeated delays of the release of the completed film. The release date was first put back to October 2013, but the film was withdrawn from the Mill Valley Film Festival in California at which it was to be premiered under the title Effie Gray. Murphy stated that the legal battle was "ongoing".[7] The film is now due to be shown in October 2014.[8]

Principal cast[edit]


  1. ^ www.filmdates on Effie Gray
  2. ^ Effie Film, LLC v. Eve Pomerance, No. 11-CIV-7087 (JPO) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 18, 2012) (248 KB PDF, accessed 17 January 2013)
  3. ^ Murphy, Gregory April 23, 2011 (23 April 2011). "The day I sat in Emma Thompson's kitchen and accused her of stealing my movie". Daily Mail (London). 
  4. ^ Eden, Richard (23 December 2012). "Emma Thompson is kept waiting by John Ruskin film". The Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Eden, Richard (24 March 2013). "Emma Thompson wins John Ruskin legal battle". The Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Walker, Tim (September 2, 2013). "John Ruskin legal battle goes on for Emma Thompson". The Telegraph (London). 
  7. ^ Emma Thompson's film about Effie Gray is withdrawn from film festival, Daily Telegraph, 15 Oct 2013
  8. ^ Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times Saturday Review, 23 August 2014

External links[edit]