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>
Jay Cocks first gave his friend Martin Scorsese a copy of Edith Wharton's novel back in 1980. At the time, he told Scorsese, "When you do that romantic piece, this one is you". It took Scorsese seven years to finally get around to reading the book. 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 »
In the 70's, the decade's greatest director Stanley Kubrick broke from his series of groundbreaking films to make a long period piece. That movie, "Barry Lyndon", was met with much critical acclaim, but also a litany of derision from fans and critics alike who called it too slow, too ponderous and too boring. Nearly 20 years later, the world's leading director of that time, Martin Scorcese took the same steps and met with much of the same criticism.
These two movies are not for everyone. If you want to see action and fast-paced filmmaking, you will find them boring. However, if you want to see the pinnacles of the careers of the two greatest directors of the second half of the 20th century, you will find them here.
Enough has been said about the plot and the acting in "The Age of Innocence". The bottom line is that for pure cinematic luster and beauty, the 90's offers only a single movie that can match "Barry Lyndon". Don't watch the clock, watch the film, and enjoy a departure and a triumph that proves the depth and confidence of Scorcese's skills.
Lastly, don't let anyone spoil the ending for you, and don't jump to conclusions. Think about it after you've seen the movie, savour it for a while and the understanding will come to you. This movie quite simply has the finest ending of any movie I have ever seen.
"The Age of Innocence" is the 10 that rises just above Scorcese's string of 9 1/2s. See it.
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