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 Newland first visits Ellen at her house (the day after the party at the Van der Leydens) the boom mic is visible above her head as she's removing her gloves and hat. See more »
Newland. You couldn't be happy if it meant being cruel. If we act any other way I'll be making you act against what I love in you most. And I can't go back to that way of thinking. Don't you see? I can't love you unless I give you up.
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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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