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Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence is adapted by, of all directors, Martin Scorsese...the violent poet of modern-day angst who has wowed audiences with Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas. The story involves the unspoken emotional repression of a group of 19th-century New York socialites, and the forbidden lusts that threaten to dissolve the rules of society. The material would seem more suited to a stuffy "prestige-movie" director like James Ivory, and indeed there are times when Scorsese seems to be in over his head. The director has always been more comfortable with characters who heedlessly express their passion, rather than respectfully suppressing it. Perhaps that is why The Age of Innocence has the same tedious, morose tone of most of Ivory's costume dramas, and fails to be particularly engrossing to the audience. However, there is also material in this story that plays to Scorsese's strengths. As a director, Scorsese has always been more concerned with creating a world or visually expressing the emotions of his characters than with plot mechanics. With The Age of Innocence, Scorsese has created a visual feast of a movie...almost literally, since there are many near-fetishistic close-ups of the luxurious food and drink that the socialities enjoy. Unfortunately, the film is not nearly as successful at presenting characters we can identify with. There comes a point in this film when the theme of emotional repression becomes tedious and downright boring. Daniel Day-Lewis, normally a magnetic actor, can not convey the seething lust or buried curiosity that fuels his character...he seems like an affable fop who happens to develop a boyish crush on a mysterious countess (Michelle Pfeiffer). Scorsese is usually a director who can effortlessly convey passion and intensity. Here, though, he seems to be so in awe of his ability to re-create a period that he forgets to tell a compelling story (a similar fate befalls Steven Spielberg in Amistad). The Age of Innocence is certainly exquisitely made and is much more kinetic and fascinating than the stuffy Merchant-Ivory productions. But the one critical flaw of the film is that it has forgotten that a film attempting to convey buried passion should itself be passionately alive.

Hearts of Darkness - An interesting, but overlong documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now. There is some great behind-the-scenes footage of the struggles that the cast a crew faced while making the classic war film.


Ministry of Fear - A very good noir film from Fritz Lang. Ray Milland is excellent, as always.


Chinatown - Roman Polanski's classic noir lives up to its expectations.


City Lights - The best Chaplin film that I have seen.


The Age of Innocence - Martin Scorsese's lush period piece is possibly his best film. Great performances help make this an emotional experience.
Director Martin Scorsese just hits me as one of those guys who will never be appreciated until it's too late. He's often criticized and has never won a Best Picture or Director honor. He probably should have won in 1976 when Rocky beat out Taxi Driver.

But the fact remains that Scorsese has a vision that few can compare with. His films often have the undercurrent of a violent world and violent people. MAybe that's what rubs people the wrong way. I have no idea; but, he is one of the great voices of American cinema.


Starring: Robert DeNiro as Sam Rothstien
Sharon Stone as Grace McKenna
Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro
Don Rickles as Billy Sherbert
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Nicholas Pilleggi and Scorsese
Based on Pilleggi's book

I live in Las Vegas. Even before I lived here, I wanted to live here. As a result, films about Las Vegas are some of my favorite films. In this film, Vegas is another character. Many people will bitch and moan for ages that this is a Goodfellas rehash. I disagree. This is a new chapter in Scorsese's career as he finally told a story about gangsters away from NYC. It's a rich and well told tale, that only suffers in one area. There is extensive use of voice over that detracts what is going on. Scorsese is known for his voiceovers, but this one puts all others to shame. Overall though my second favorite Scorsese film.

"Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the mob's control of LasVegas in the 1970s."
-- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, SPIRITUALITY AND HEALTH

Martin Scorsese's luxorious 19th century soap opera suffers a little from a stiff dialogue and simplified, almost dull characters. The actors do give a good try, as much as the text allows, because it really could be more flexible. Michelle Pfeiffer's performance maybe goes unnecessarily sloppy and pretentious whenever any dramatic moments arise. Perhaps it's just that her palette seems too narrow in hue to allow much of variation. Daniel Day-Lewis's stiff character lacks a bit in personal charisma, but he does generally do a great job. Winona Ryder however is the one piece of this puzzle who is completely lost and useless. But what gives all the acting in the film ultimately a very positive look is how the scenes are beautifully shot and paced with great precision. Nothing is excessively rushed or lingered on, and the whole film is in good balance.

Scorcese has a good grip on the story and he carries it well. The film aims for a very traditional and subtle romance drama, which may be dull at parts, but not forced.

Beautiful costumes and settings, fitting score, great takes on social etiquette, enjoyable story of romance and hidden anguish. Dialogue could be sharper.


Pro: Editing. Set design. The ending.

Con: Narration was horrible idea. Spotlight effect. The story is fairly ho-hum.
A respected lawyer is engaged to the beautiful May Welland,but her evil cosin is after him for herself.

This was the first film I saw for my course. Directed my legendary director Martin Scorcesse, I was expecting a film about two people in a place where what they did was against the ways of those around them. In a way thats what I got, only I was expecting gangsters.

What I got was a film about American Aristocrisy. Newland Archer (Daniel-Day Lewis) is about to become bethrothed to May (Winona Ryder), a woman who is a member of a well known household. Things are fine until the arrival of Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeffier), who is just coming out of a failing marriage. Archer is assisting her with the divorce, but ends up falling in love with her.

While the plot is unpredictable at times, you feel as if you know its going to happen. Maybe its because of the acting, or maybe its the way its written. The acting seems a little over the top to me. Maybe it needed to be because of the mind-numbingly boring narrative.

It does save itself because of the authenticity of the cinematography. Not only does it look believable, but it also looks beautiful on screen. The use of items and iconography, in particular a scene where Archer is at a private dinner with the family, the use of candles here creates a gateway to their characters.

Unfortunately, this doesn't save it from being the second film I slept through part of it. I might have missed some of the beautiful cinematography, but with a plot that bad, does it need an excuse to keep you awake?

To sum up:

+ Beautifully shot, well laid out.
- Shame about the narrative and acting...
I was really surprised by Pride and Prejudice. The camerawork was fantastic, especially the long tracking shots at the parties. Knightly, who has never wowwed me, owned her role. Donald Sutherland should have gotten an Oscar nom for his performance.

Proof was the definition of bland. I can't remember any specific details. Shows how memorable that was.

His Girl Friday was a blast. Razor-sharp wit with a fun story and great performances.
Ultimate romatic longing depict of two caracters following the social accepted moral conduct, while their hearts speak otherwise.

Plot resembles: Bridges of Madison County, Onegin

With or without ever feeling the pain of loving someone who's unattainable, there quite a definite sense of how that must feel. Martin Scorsese, the director of such films as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, quite obviously understands this to the fullest extent.

This film is a far stretch from those that he's ever produced, particularly because of the way the characters are portrayed and how they manipulate their actions. It's a story of a very successful young man, Newland Archer, who has engaged to May Welland, but did so with slight pressure for an image that is enormously powerful in the period that it takes place. His young fiancee's cousin, Ellen Olenska, comes into the picture, and Archer, feeling a love for Ellen that's stronger than anything he's ever felt before, senses his engagement is holding on with a tiny thread.

The emotional intensities grow stronger as the story continues on. Scorsese uses careful consideration on the camera angles and lighting, making sure that each emotion felt by the characters are razor-sharp in intensity. Key imagery, such as the flames and cigars that are emphasized, bring about a strong environment to set the mood for the intense scenes.

The performances of the three lead actors were the key ingredients for this film to have successfully worked. Graciously, they were all phenomenal, and we are given with a masterpiece that is beautifully performed in and masterfully recorded.
The Age of Innocence

I started to watch About Schwartz and failed to care halfway through. I put this in instead. I wish I'd stuck with About Schwartz; at least it was occasionally funny.

This is a lovely film, but it is fatally flawed by being terribly, terribly dull. At one point, I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was going to kill Winona Ryder, and I was rather looking forward to it; that would have been interesting. The affair with Michelle Pfeiffer manages to be remarkably stodgy; I'm sure it was consummated at some point, but I couldn't tell you when. I wasn't paying enough attention.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays a rich New York lawyer, scion of a rich New York family. He is to marry Winona Ryder, scion of some other rich New York family. It's all terribly formal and proper and fashionable, unto his being fourteen years older than she. Then, he meets her wild, unconventional (by the standards of these people, anyway) cousin, Countess somebody-or-other, who may or may not be getting divorced from her husband through half the film. He falls in love with the cousin, of course, but marries Winona Ryder anyway, because otherwise, we wouldn't have even so minor and dull a story as this one.

It's lovely. Did I mention that? It is, after all, Scorsese, who knows how to film even if I very seldom like what he's filming. Unfortunately, it's a bland sort of lovely, as if we are seeing the whole thing through the eyes of a minor painter of the era, one whose name is only known by art history majors. The costumes are lovely, but nothing is really striking.

Well, that's not true; Michelle Pfeiffer shows up at a fancy party in a red gown at one point, and the contrast between her red dress and the black dresses of the other women is certainly striking. The dress itself isn't, particularly, but the contrast is. However, it's a very familiar sort of striking that was done to much better effect in Gone with the Wind (which will probably be film 1000). It's entirely possible that Edith Wharton wrote the dress into the novel; I haven't read it and certainly don't intend to now. And maybe Edith Wharton's portrayal of it was better. But it's a familiar contrast nonetheless.

We've got better movies ahead. We must, unless the entire rest of the library catalog is pretty dismal. But I'd far rather watch one of my beloved live action Disney movies than sit through this again.
Eye-catching and beautifully filmed, but rather tedious at times.

Martin Scorsese calls The Age of Innocence his "most violent film" and after watching it I can definetly see why. It's not like Taxi Driver or The Departed, the violence is all emotional pain that occurs between the two main characters when they cannot be together because of the social and moral code of the world they lived in. The movie is beautifully shot and the score is great as well. All three of the leads (Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder) gave excellent and touching performances. This was a pretty deep and sometimes heartbreaking movie, one of Scorsese's best.

The Age of Innocence is simply the best work by director Martin Scorcese and is deservedly entitled to the numerous accolades it has received. Mr. Scorcese's style and panache is elaborate in his film adaptation of Edith Wharton's moving novel of a forbidden love and desideration between the two. Michelle Pfeiffer gives the most heart-wrenching performance as the object of desire. Daniel Day Lewis is the tortured lover who must choose, a promise of marriage to Mae (Winona Ryder) or risk his stalwart reputation in society to express his love for Pfeiffer. The cinematography is beautiful and cast is phenomenal. I highly recommend this film to everyone.
The Age of Innocence is a great artistic film which takes you back to the late 1800s in New York. The costume design and art direction are terrific. This is not your typical Scorsese movie as the genre is totally different but you can recognize his direction through the entirety of the movie. The film is told in a narrative style and it introduces us to the high society in New York which is all about traditions, gossip and outward appearances. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the outcast Countess Olenska, who is being heavily judged by the society as she is going through a seperation from her husband. Daniel-Day Lewis comes into the picture as Newland Archer who is engaged to Countess Olenska s cousin (Winona Ryder). Archer ends up falling in love with the Countess as he sees in her someone different from the rest of society who does not have any interest in wearing masks and hiding her ways of life. The plot thickens as he struggles between the love he feels for the Countess and the engagement he has with her cousin May. What stands out in this film is the artistic direction, costumes, and soundtrack which really takes the audience back in time. Scorcese s films are typically violent, this film is also very violent but it is transmitted in a different manner: the strong social codes that rule the way people think and live which dont allow them to experience life and love in a more liberal way. The characters who suffer more violence are the Countess and Archer whose heart gets torned to pieces. Scorsese found in this story a different way too express that violence in a non-typical way but his presence can be felt in the characters.
it is slow and rigid. and that can make for a very difficult viewing. but the production is flawless. the cinematography and lighting are spectacular. the acting and directing are very, very good. and the material, while slow, is very interesting - even more so after the film is done.
This is a modestly entertaining story about love and expectation. All of the technical aspects were decent, but the story was only mildly engaging. This is so probably either because of a preference against romance movies or the obvious direction of the plot and character development.

Wait makes this movie better than your common romance drama is the connection I saw to Soren Kierkegaard's own romantic life. The father of existentialism had a similar conundrum in his own life where he wooed a girl away from a fiance to become engaged to her. Then he convinced himself that if he married her he would cease to be in the existential state of love for her that he desired. He then did what he could to have her call off the engagement because he didn't want to tarnish her reputation by doing it himself. Day-Lewis and Pfeiffer's characters go through a similar situation. They find that they are soulmates, but Day-Lewis's character is engaged and Pfeiffer's character is married though seeking a divorce. When they desire to cast off these commitments to be together Pfeiffer says something to the effect of, "In order to love you I must leave." This is referring to their inability to commit to each other because it is their gentleness and consideration for others that is part of what is drawing them together. If they went back on their vows they would become something different and not love each other as they do.

All of this is on top of an insightful look into and critique of the homogeneity of their particular high class society. The rules and superficiality makes them all boring and delegitimizes their standing.
**** (out of four)

A definite change of pace for maverick director Martin Scorcese, but in its way this period drama is just as brutal emotionally as many of his others films are physically.

Based on the novel by Edith Wharton, the film examines the class distinction in the late 19th century New York. Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfieffer are tremendous.
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