Curator's Note: I, for one, can hardly wait for the 2013 release of Richard Laxton's new film (screen play by Emma Thompson), entitled "Effie". The narrative follows the "mysterious relationship between Victorian art critic, John Juskin, and his teenage bride, Effie Gray."
What, indeed, does fire the romantic libido of great writers and cultural critics?
"For Wise, the Ruskins' wedding night is a symptom of the universal problem of the difference between an idealised image and reality. "In the same way now that men are bombarded with images of what is supposed to be the ideal woman, after the Pre-Raphaelite ideal anything is going to be a let down. Real life is wrinkles and smells."
"Wise believes Ruskin became fixated with Effie and the idea of being in love before the marriage. He and Thompson asked Mulligan to take the part before her success in An Education. "Carey has a rare quality of being open and unfettered," he said. "At the time Effie said she would have borne anything, had Ruskin just been kind. But I can't play him as an ogre because the audience need to understand why she married this man."
"While Ruskin's personal reputation remains confused, his impact as a thinker is clear. Admired by the novelist Marcel Proust, who helped to translate his work for the French, a number of Utopian colonies were set up in Canada and America in honour of his ideas and some still bear his name. He coined several literary and architectural terms and inspired a school of neo-Gothic architecture."
The film, currently in post production, stars Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, and Tom Sturridge.