The Age of Innocence is a movie adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel . It is a poignant tale of unrequited love set in late 19th century America.
The movie showcases New York society in the late 19th century. It shows the strict conventions of this uppercrust society. Altthough none of them are nobility, these prople live and behave like royalty. A few of them, like the heroine’s grandmother Mrs. Mingott amd an elderly couple, the van Schuylers, set the example of behaviour. Everyone else must follow suit. As in any closenit community, gossip and scandal are rife.
Ellen (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Newland (Daniel DayLewis) have always had a tendre for each other. Ellen is back in NewYork, having left an aristocratic but unfaithful husband in Europe. Newland, though engaged to be married to Ellen’s cousin May (Winona Ryder), finds his passion for Ellen rekindled.
What follows is a tale of snatched moments and wistful glances. Ellen and Newland, though passionately in love, behave with the decorum expected of them by society. Surprisingly, the thing that conveys the intensity of passion is the restraint shown by them.
Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy the setting for it shows the American upper class. The mansions, banquets, balls, gowns, furniture and flowers are spectacular and one step above Downton.
The movie is made into an epic by the expert direction of Martin Scorcese. The cinematography is breathtaking, The viewer is treated to beautiful sunsets and lush gardens. A particularly beautiful scene is Newland’s fiancee sitting in a garden with vistas of blooming flowerbeds, The ballroom scene is expertly choreographed and photographed. The outdoor and indoor photography are both superb.
This 1993 period drama is a treat to watch. I was lucky to catch it on Netflix and saw it once for the story and twice for the beautiful scenes.
Starring–Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joanne Woodward
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