Craving London society and admiring his reputation, young Euphemia Effie Gray (Fanning) marries family friend and celebrated art critic John Ruskin (Wise). But their unconsummated marriage soon sours into misery. After she meets his protégé, Pre-Raphael
Dakota Fanning looks a dreamy Pre-Raphaelite muse in the latest retelling, scripted by Emma Thompson, of the humiliating sex scandal that blew the Victorians’ minds, when the young wife of arts maven and philanthropist John Ruskin (Greg Wise) left their unhappy, unconsummated marriage for painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). But yikes, it’s dreary. Dakota Fanning’s Effie droops around yearning prettily and miserably in a dark production palette while poor Ruskin comes across as a querulous neurotic. Where’s the romance? Where’s the smidge of joy in art, beauty, nature? Desperately missed, that’s where.
Handsome, well-mounted but dull, dull, dull.