J.R. is a typical Italian-American on the streets of New York. When he gets involved with a local girl, he decides to get married and settle down, but when he learns that she was once raped... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
Who has the right to make her life over, if she hasn't? Why should we bury a woman alive if her husband prefers to live with whores?
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The Columbia logo turns sepia to look like a 19th-century photograph. See more »
Tradition gives in to Modernity, and so is the end of the Age of Innocence.
Martin Scorsese's THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is a graceful film that balances deceit, forbidden love, scandal, passion and intrigue so astoundingly that multiple viewings enable one to revel in brilliance. Based on Edith Wharton's novel set in 1870s New York high society, the film wonderfully depicts the falling of tradition and the opening of modernity in the lives of 3 people and their vicious back-stabbing families. Lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to society maiden May Welland (Winona Ryder; who won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress) but all that is set off-course when May's cousin - the passionate, charming and scandal-clad Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) - has returned to the USA, fleeing her cheating Polish husband, Count Olenska. Ellen sojourns at the estate of New York society matriach, Madame Mingott (Miriam Margolyes) while deciding on what to do with her life. Madame Mingott appoints Newland as Ellen's legal advisor. It is here their passion erupts. In an effort to keep reputation intact and to keep free of further scandal, the affair is unwillingly aborted...but at a cost to the lives of the 3 involved. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an affecting performance as Newland. So restrained, ruled by tradition and fuelled with the most passion in his life which leads to embitterment but quiet contentment with conscience on his side. A beautiful performance. Michelle Pfeiffer was perfectly-cast as the controversial Ellen Olenska. Before she makes her first appearance, we're aware the Countess is a dark lady with many affairs behind her. Once we spend more time with this character, we see she is only following her heart and is so mad at the world for restraining her and labelling everything she does. Ms Pfeiffer gives a brave performance worthy of much more kudos. Winona Ryder made a great transition when switching from the weird high school girls to well-bred and well-intentioned May Welland. However, Winona's most excellent scene is that where she asks to be with Newland a while, only to tell him she is pregnant and then stating she told Ellen 2 weeks before. Newland is surprised as he was certain he heard May say that she only knew that day. Through the sweet smile, we see the cunning eyes of deceit and the evidence that May used her pregnancy as a threat to prevent Ellen's further advances on Newland. May's transition from young lady to woman of the world is very well-executed by Winona Ryder who, like Michelle, deserves a lot more credit for this exceptional performance. Likewise to Martin Scorsese, perhaps the best director in America. This is another film in a long line of Sr. Scorsese masterpieces where he has invented new shots, clever techniques and wise plotting to show the fall of the traditional world. This film is intelligent and lush in emotional landscapes and in suggesting the imperial beauty and bitchery of the period. A stunning depiction of the decline of the old world; the end of the Age of Innocence.
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