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>
The lady standing to the right of Winona Ryder and admiring her engagement ring at the Beauforts' ball (just before Archer approaches and bows) is Tamasin Day-Lewis, sister of Daniel Day-Lewis, who was in town to visit her brother and drafted by Martin Scorsese to take the part. She's better known as the author of a series of cookbooks. 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 »
Annie made me swear to do three things in Paris: get her the score of the latest Debussy songs, go to the Grand Guignol, and see Madam Olenska.
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The Columbia logo turns sepia to look like a 19th-century photograph. 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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