Society scion Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland, but his well-ordered life is upset when he meets May's unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska. At first, Newland becomes a defender of the Countess, whose separation from her abusive husband makes her a social outcast in the restrictive high society of late-19th Century New York, but he finds in her a companion spirit and they fall in love. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Martin Scorsese set up a deal with 20th Century-Fox to write the screenplay with Jay Cocks. Fox attached a budget of $32 million to the project. Before anything came of it, however, Fox head Joe Roth told Scorsese that he would be first in line to see the picture, but he just couldn't finance it. Universal then stepped in, although it was not prepared to spend any more than $30 million. Finally Mark Canton of Columbia - with whom Scorsese had made Goodfellas (1990) - offered the full budget. See more »
When Mrs. Mingott tries to give a party in honor of Countess Olenska, not a single of her invitations is accepted, but the handwriting is the same on each separate refusal that flips by on camera. See more »
[about his fiancée]
I'll be back on the first, and our wedding's not till the fifth.
I'm surprised you even remembered the date.
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The Columbia logo turns sepia to look like a 19th-century photograph. See more »
Not being a particular fan of Edith Wharton, I was in no hurry to see this movie, but wanted to see what Scorsese & Day-Lewis did with it. I was absolutely floored! I think that, cinematically, it is the best picture Scorsese's done since Raging Bull. Beautiful & brilliant. I even thought that some scenes, particularly the dinners, were slightly reminiscent of Kubrick.
I thought Michelle Pfeiffer was absolutely superb. I don't follow her work much, but of what I do know, I find this to be her best - and most serious - performance to date. I was somewhat disappointed in Daniel Day-Lewis who I otherwise love to watch. I felt his performance was uneven. When he was "on", he was on, but at times his performance was stilted and even melodramatic which jarred his credibility. Wynona did a terrific job of portraying covert deviousness with a blank and/or airhead facade.
But what shone above all the acting was Scorsese's paintbrush. I'm so happy to see that he's still got it in him.
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