Dakota Fanning Plays a Sex-Starved Young Victorian in Effie Gray

Because we've all been very good girls this year, Emma Thompson has written another period piece. It's Effie Grey, and it stars Dakota Fanning as a miserable, sexually frustrated young bride. Also featured: Emma Thompson, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge and an AMAZING pompadour worn by Emma Thompson.

The trailer comes via Women And Hollywood. They say the movie was finished 18 months ago, but got bogged down in copyright clusterfuckery. Apparently that's been sorted out and Effie Gray is finally on its way, though it doesn't have a U.S. release date just yet.

Spoilers if you don't already have a bunch of trivia about Victorians and their sex lives floating around your brain: The movie is actually based on the very true story of Effie Gray and her husband, the famous art critic John Ruskin, who famously never consummated their marriage. The (well-known but likely not entirely true) story goes that he refused to make his move because he wasn't prepared for the sight of a living woman's naked body. (My favorite speculation goes that he wasn't prepared for pubic hair—all those Greek statues, you know.) But one recent book argues that Ruskin just felt duped by financial shenanigans involving the dowery. He did admit, via the Guardian:

"It may be thought strange that I could abstain from a woman who to most people was so attractive. But though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it."


Whatever really happened, it's pretty clear the marriage hit the skids early and never recovered, and it seems safe to assert that Ruskin did not appreciate the immortal truth best expressed by Aretha Franklin: If you want a do-right all-day woman, you've got to be a do-right all night man.

The stuff overheated costume-drama classics are made of, in other words!

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Dodai Stewart

Is he gay? Just asking.