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 kindred spirit and they fall in love.Written by
Marg Baskin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Martin Scorsese's beautifully done "The Age of Innocence" almost reaches excellence on a grand scale by having stunning performances and creating real intrigue with a story that could have been slow and dull. It is late 19th Century New York and attorney Daniel Day-Lewis is about to wed socialite Winona Ryder (Oscar-nominated). Naturally their lives of privilege and the finer things in life make them a quietly happy couple. However their lives are changed when Day-Lewis is asked to defend Ryder's cousin (Michelle Pfeiffer), a woman trying to divorce herself from an abusive marriage to a man that never loved her. The socialites within Ryder's circle frown upon Pfeiffer, treating her no better than a common stranger (that is putting it mildly at best). Day-Lewis takes a liking to Pfeiffer and he develops admiration and sympathy for the emotionally tortured woman. A mutual love and romance may blossom, but what complications will this create for the duo? "The Age of Innocence" is a strong film that dominates because of Scorsese's outstanding direction. Much like "The Last Temptation of Christ", Scorsese tackles something totally different from what he had previously worked on. The film is a fine accomplishment that is a successful venture overall. It nearly reaches total excellence, but a few minor problems with pacing hurt the production admittedly. Still one of Scorsese's best works. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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