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>
Director Martin Scorsese had said that this is the "most violent" film he's ever made, an obvious reference to the emotional versus physical states of being. Ironically, for a director who is well known for over-the-top violent fare like Taxi Driver (1976) and Goodfellas (1990), this film happens to be Scorsese's first to earn a "PG rating" since New York, New York (1977). See more »
On the park bench in Boston, Newland Archer sits down with Ellen Olenska. As he sits, his gloves are off, and we see his wedding ring. The camera cuts away and then back, and his gloves are on. He then removes them. 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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