Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Age of Innocence

Movie Name: The Age of Innocence
Year of Release: 1993
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Stuart Wilson, Geraldine Chaplin, Miriam Margolyes, Michael Gough, Joanne Woodward, Robert Sean Leonard, Jonathan Pryce, Sian Phillips, Alec McCowen, Mary Beth Hurt
Genre: Drama, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

Director Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence" came out in 1993, following his fantastic remake of "Cape Fear". The film is an adaptation of Edith Warton's novel, and follows the story of an amorous triangle in New York society at the peak of the nineteenth century. Newland Archer is a successful young attorney from good families, who proposes to the young and beautiful May Welland, a union that is socially approved by the high society of New York. This seemingly beatific union is thrown into disarray with the arrival of Countess Olenska, May's cousin, a woman who comes surrounded by scandal, and someone who charms Newland. This intersection of desires throws into disarray this carefully structured world of propriety.
Martin Scorsese is a phenomenal director, one who has always focused attention in anti-heroes that are thrown into the middle of situations that force them to question themselves, their faith, and all that they are familiar with. Though some of the classics that have made him famous, such as "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", "Goodfellas", "The Departed"or even "The Wolf of Wall Street", are films that are contemporary, gritty and where the geographical tissue of New York (and Boston also) plays an important side to the events affecting the characters. "The Age of Innocence" though being a period piece, depicts with precision (and stunning beauty), the complexities of living within that society, the risks of being ostracized, and how being different can be punishing and castrating. The film is beautifully shot by Michael Ballhaus and edited by the talented Thelma Schoonmaker and features great performances from Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder. A beautiful film worth watching.