The Age of Innocence

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Released 1993

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Movie Summary

Director:
Martin Scorsese
Released:
1993
Rating:
PG
The Age of Innocence is director Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel taking place in 1870s New York. Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a successful lawyer and heir to a prosperous family engaged to the sheltered socialite May Welland (Winona Ryder). With the appearance of May's cousin, the beautiful Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), Newland begins to doubt his life and station. Ellen is seeking divorce from her abusive husband, ostracizing her from the high society circles yet making her an object of admiration to Newland's eyes. Even as Newland convinces Ellen not to proceed with the divorce due to potential scandal, he finds himself increasingly enraptured and falling in love with the beautiful seductress. Finding himself torn between the bonds of tradition and what his heart desires, Newland becomes increasingly disillusioned with society and wary of entering a marriage devoid of passion. However, constrained by societal perceptions and manipulated by unforeseen players, Newland may quickly discover he never had a choice to make. The contrast between the hypocrisy of societal ethics and the passions that drive humanity is beautifully illustrated through amazing performances in this deservedly acclaimed production, nominated for the Academy Award for best-adapted screenplay.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I have seen love scenes in which naked bodies thrash in sweaty passion, but I have rarely seen them more passionate than in this movie, where everyone is wrapped in layers of Victo...

  • 80

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Ms. Pfeifer is lovely, the visual focal point of the film, but also much more. With her soft voice, her reserve and her quickness of mind, her Ellen has emotional weight. She's the...

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Scorsese has met most of the challenges inherent in tackling such a formidable period piece, but the material remains cloaked by the very propriety, stiff manners and emotional sta...

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Categories

Drama

Themes

Historical, Love & Romance