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>
Daniel Day-Lewis checked into the Plaza Hotel as "N. Archer" and lived there for 2 weeks wearing clothes suitable to his film character as research for Newland Archer. See more »
At the dinner in Paris, May says, "When we were in London, we could only manage one day at the National," but her lips actually mouth the words "one day at the Tate." The original dialogue would have been anachronistic, as the story is set in the 1870s and the Tate Gallery did not open until 1897. See more »
Don't get put off by those telling you to give a miss to this film. They belong to the school, insufferable to the true cinema lover and to those of any taste in general, who expects "something to happen" in a film and feel cheated at the end if they haven't had to scramble through an intricate plot, haven't seen the mandatory pound of spilled blood and the round of gunshots. Scorsese is at his most brilliant in this film; it is all the more exquisite as it does not rely on an overloaded plot but prefers to be constructed of lights and half lights, shades and nuances. All the more appropriate as this is exactly what Scorsese wants us to see in the world of end of XIX th century New York- a society brimming with peace and innocence in which nothing appears to ever happen but under the surface of which gossip and intrigue work relentlessly and destinies are decided over the small talk of the dinner table. Accompanied by an impecable narrative voice and an unforgettable richness of color and music it will haunt you forever. Those it sends to sleep do not deserve to be awake. Ten out of ten!
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