Countless films are set during the Victorian Era, and with good reason. The style of dress and grand decor are ripe for cinematic use while its rigid structure typically offers a poignant exploration of oppression.
Set in 1847, Effie Gray tells the true story of the title character’s (Dakota Fanning) doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise). The film’s muted tones and foggy backdrop convey the young woman’s inner turmoil while the binding costumes illustrate her limited options. Directed by Richard Laxton, the drama was penned by Emma Thompson, who also stars as journalism pioneer Elizabeth Eastlake.
During the film’s New York premiere at the Paris Theater, we had the chance to ask Fanning about working with a script written by an actor and understanding the social pressures of the time. Check out what she had to say in the video above, and enjoy!