The Age of Innocence (1993) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin. Runtime: 139 mins Release Date: 01 Oct 1993
I saw "The Aviator" a couple of days ago and while I still have Howard Hughes flying through my brain I felt the need to see again another Scorsese. I have all of his films in my collection. I closed my eyes and picked one, just like that, at random. "The Age Of Innocence" This is what happens with great artists, you can always re visit them and you'll come out of the experience with something new, something valuable. Transported by the sublime voice of Joanne Woodward I took the trip again to discover that everything in this extraordinary universe that Martin <more>
Scorsese, based on Edith Wharton work, is not what it appears. Conventions out of the window, breaking every imaginable rule. Just as the characters get off their trucks, swimming against the tide of the times. Scorsese breaks cinematic rules with such artistry that we're allow to inspect, re live and enjoy a story as old as the world from a completely new perspective. Is as if Luchino Visconti had suddenly woken up with a new contemporary sight to look back with. Daniel Day Lewis is so marvelous that the pain of his predicament becomes more than visual, becomes visceral. For Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder this was the zenith of their careers. They are sensational. The casting, as usual in a Scorsese film, is superb even in the smallest roles. Glimpses of Sian Phillips, Alexis Smith and Geraldine Chaplin add to the pleasures, making this overwhelming banquet of a film one of the most rewarding film experiences I've ever had.
I actually saw this movie when it was released in 1993, and honestly it was pretty dull then. Of course I was 22, and the workings of that late-1800's New York society really didn't make much sense or have much relevance.I think the film may have been ignored at its release because of the slew of other "period pieces" which were so popular an eventually common in the late 80's/early 90's... But watching it again 10 years later, this film is anything but common.The true intensity is Scorcese's detached presentation of a hypocritical & hateful society which <more>
holds its members as prisoners.Not to mention impeccable art direction & beautiful cinematography by the legendary Michael Ballhaus. The film looks as impressionistic as the paintings that line the walls of the characters' homes.Scorsese is always acute in his casting decisions, and this is one of the films many virtues:Lewis is perfect as a man who's struggle between his passion & his duty are constantly on the verge of devouring him yet somehow he thrives on his torture .Ryder is the seemingly innocent & naive girl who is completely manipulative & cunning underneath her exterior gee, who would have thought?! -- notice the arching scene.In a sense, this was one of Pfeiffer's defining roles. Pfeiffer herself in a sense is an "outcast" who has never truly been accepted as a "serious" actress by her peers in the acting community. Watching this film again, it amazes me how this role somehow reflects her personal position in the current social structure of Hollywood, similar to her character existing in 1800's New York society.Wow...What an amazing pic. I completely "missed it" the first time around. Great observance of "high society." Many of those codes are strangely applicable today.Not recommended for those who like fast paced movies, or those who are looking for the "usual Scorcese." I would couple this with "Last Temptation of Christ" as Scorsese's most brave, artistic, demanding & abstract films to date.
I have seen "The Age of Innocence" about 15 times since 1994, and find the argument as to whether it is boring or not to be fascinating. Period films are not for everyone, and if you lack an appreciation for subtlety then maybe something like "Joe Dirt" may be better suited for you. But what lies beneath this wonderful movie is a priceless ode to individuality.Michelle Pfeiffer plays Ellen Olenska, a proto-feminist who flees from her failing European marriage to the home of her blood relatives in 1870's New York Society. She's been away for most of her life and the <more>
States are foreign to her, but she quickly realizes that she is viewed as threat, a black sheep ---and Society reacts to her as it would to a dirty black spot on a carpet or on one of their tuxedo shirts. "Harmony could be shattered by a whisper", as well narrated by Joanne Woodward.Daniel Day-Lewis plays Newland Archer, an up-and-rising patriarch who sees something in her that no one else in his rich circle could offer him: an independent viewpoint to life. As a lawyer and a powerful member of his family, he bravely tries to protect Ellen from basically everyone, esp. members of their own family. Despite all of her difficulties, Countess Olenska refuses to part from her individuality: she smokes in front of Newland, does not hide from men in social situations, and criticizes her surroundings. Archer doesn't necessarily fall in love with her as a person but with what she represents: Romanticism and escape.There is a lot to love about this film, which is more like a piece of art than a movie. Every scene and every bit of dialogue denotes elegance and brutality simultaneously. All of the leading and supporting characters are so believable and well formed that they trump anything Hollywood has been throwing at us in recent months. And the setting for this film is very unconventional, at least for the 90's. Through excellent film-making, I can see why Society felt the need to operate in such a ruthless fashion, in order to protect itself from Ellen and what she represented to Newland, its newly crowned prince.Over the past few months, I have also grown an appreciation for Winona Ryder's performance as May. She is a shrewd politician, who uses her "bright blindness" as a megaphone for Society's rules of conduct, a weapon of manipulation against her destined husband Newland, and as a way to continue plotting without easily being detected.I wonder how many more times I will watch "The Age of Innocence" before I risk being exposed to Hollywood's 21st century conformity, such as "Independence Day" or "Wild, Wild West". All I know is that Ellen Olenska as one of my favorite cinematic heroines serves to validate my own sense of individuality, and neither she nor the astonishing beauty of this Scorcese creation, will ever be boring. 10 out of 10 stars.
In a way I am disappointed after reading the comments because I thought I was alone in adoring this ravishing and masterful film, and I thought I would get to be the sole voice in the wind proudly proclaiming its brilliance.Years ago, I ho-hummed my way through viewing it, and I was so unimpressed, I can't tell you today whether I saw it in a theater or rented it at home. It has been in rather heavy rotation on the movie channels for some reason of late, and I watched it again a few weeks ago. It simply left me breathless. I must have watched it twelve times over the last few weeks, and <more>
am dying to buy the DVD if it ever comes out. Scorcese calls this his "most violent film", and after seeing it again, alone, watching intently, it struck me how completely right he was.The comments before mine are mostly right on target...I am in awe of the filmmaking and can't say enough about the dramatic subtleties, the opulent production values and the overall magnificent way the entire project was handled. Even the normally atrocious Winona Ryder excelled in a role that was simply a tour-de-force for her...the vapid but yet not so vapid after all May Welland. A masterpiece. Please see it if you haven't already.
Underrated masterpiece from the top director of our times. (by Woody-82)
For those who wonder what is Mr. Scorsese looking for in a film like "The Age of Innocence", probably more suitable to a director such as James Ivory , the man himself gives the answer: "This film deals with the same matters that can be found in my work in the last 25 years. There is guilt, desire, obsessed passion and the weakness to satisfy that passion".The story takes place in New York, around 1880. Newland Archer Daniel Day-Lewis must choose between his current fiancee May Welland Winona Ryder and her cousin who has just arrived from Poland and is recently <more>
divorced, Helen Ollenska Michelle Pfeiffer . May is the symbol of a world he's familiar with, and Helen represents the world he's dreaming of.Living in a conservative world full of compromises, Newland is as much trapped by his social circle as the Italian-American heroes of Mean Streets and GoodFellas. However, the Mafia here is called New York aristocracy and kills with words, with a gesture or with a look of contempt and rejection, instead of using guns. Scorsese fans who expect to see psychotic characters, violence or De Niro-style performances, will be disappointed. Everything in this movie is based on the observation and recording of the social behaviour codes, the unexpressed feelings and of things which are not not said but implied. Scorsese portrayed with absolute preciseness, almost paragraph to paragraph, Edith Wharton's classic novel. However, he managed to give the film his own unique personal view, proving his gigantic talent and that he's capable of creating masterpieces, whatever the heroes, the story or the genre of the film. Winona Ryder should definitely have won the Oscar for her wonderful performance, but Lewis and Pfeiffer are marvellous as well. What's left to say? The Age of Innocence is an un-excusably underrated all time classic.
This is Martin Scorsese's most beautiful film and possibly his very finest film. It is a delight to look at, with apt and colourful costumes and sets, and some very elegant work by the cinematographer and editor. The film consists of many different shots from many different camera angles, and they are edited swiftly together. Michael Ballhaus has handsomely photographed the film, with wonderful gliding takes, use of over-exposure to change scenes, and some artificial spotlights to highlight the important details in certain frames. The pacing is slow, but not in a negative way, as it gives <more>
one time to be drawn into the film and the depicted period. The third person narration from Joanne Woodward does however make it slightly restrained, as it is impersonal and sets emotion aside from the action on screen. The acting is also a tad ordinary from most performers, but besides for these two points there is little to complain about here. The film is great to look at, and it has some things to say about the society that it is depicting too, making it really quite an enjoyable experience.
Martin Scorsese directing a period piece. That kinda sounds like Slipknot guest appearing on the new Celine Dion album. What's amazing about this movie is that he almost pulls it off. Visually, this is one of the most stunning movies I've ever seen. Look at the shot where Michelle Pfeiffer is standing on a peer, looking at a ship. Or the rain scene, that used Enya's Marble Halls. Sheer perfection, the director as a painter. But what's the most amazing about Age of Innocence are the colors. It's really hard to explain, it's something you have to experience yourself. <more>
Unbelievably beautiful.Unfortunately, not everything works. The story, another tragic tale of impossible love, has been done thousands of times before and didn't really hold my attention. Not bad, just more time to watch the pretty pictures. Anyway, I don't think Scorsese was really interested in the love story. It's more an analytical study of the behavior of people from that day and age, and as such it does work Daniel Day-pri Lewis a bundle of joy he is not is perfectly cast as the frustrated Archer, but the actingprizes have to go to Michelle Pfeiffer. What a beautiful woman, what an amazing actress.Rating: 8/10
I really liked this movie because it was so rich in every aspect: from the acting, to the setting and the costumes, the cinematography and the score, everything was beautifully crafted. The movie seems to start slowly and the story is only relatively important. More than anything it is an occasion for Scorsese to talk about the NY upper society of the late 1800, and it's rigid way, sometimes desperate see Ryder's character , often cruel to maintain an identity paradoxically built on the European upper class mold despite the changes that were happening. I was very impressed by the <more>
use of the objects, the clothes of the time to describe the feeling of the scene or of the characters involved.The actors are all very good, but Michelle Pfeiffer really delivers and excellent performance. Also Winona Ryder's character is well portrayed and towards the end of the movie, the actress is able to convincingly show how her character is much more layered than what it seems to be in the beginning of the story.In my opinion this movie deserves 8
Not so much a wonderful story as a wonderful telling. (by G )
"The Age of Innocence" takes the audience into the pages of 19th century New York's social register as it follows one eligible blue blood, Day-Lewis, and his love interests Pfeiffer & Ryder . The film, which boasts many awards including several Oscars, is a 2+ hour long tale of the this and that of the upper crust's elite replete with lavish sets, elegant costuming, and a narration which is required to explain the film's esoterics. The fun of "Age..." is not so much in the story as it is in the telling. A feast for those interested in period flicks and the <more>