Saoirse Ronan is to play the title role in the Emma Thompson scripted "Effie" with Orlando Bloom, Greg Wise, Imelda Staunton and Thompson co-starring. Carey Mulligan was previously attached to this role. If true, Saoirse seems once again to be playing a role older than her years.
Written by Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson, EFFIE is a sharp, entertaining and witty story that vividly conjures up passionate characters driven to extremes by the repressive rules of their time.
John Ruskin – the renowned art critic famously dubbed “The Greatest Victorian” takes young Effie Gray as his wife. Effie is twenty years younger and her expectations of marital love are confounded by her husband’s bizarre and troubled personal behaviour. She must also contend with Ruskin’s controlling and snobbish mother.
In an attempt to redraw their relationship, Effie and John move to Venice so John may continue his work as Effie seeks solace in the beauty of the city and its people. Venice does little to relieve the stress of their already fragile relationship, and so the unhappy couple move to Scotland accompanied by Ruskin’s protégé, the handsome artist John Everett Millais.
As Millais witnesses Ruskin’s disdain for Effie and how truly disconnected the couple are, he begins to feel for her in a way that her husband cannot.
Effie must attempt to escape her poisonous marriage without alerting the scandal mongers and attempt to secure romantic fulfillment in the arms of her husband’s young artist friend.
This is a powerful and affectionate take on an extraordinary, true story from the pen of Emma Thompson who also plays Effie’s ally, confidante and saviour, Lady Eastlake.