The Age of Innocence movie Essay

The Age of Innocence movie Essay

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It's New York City in the 1870s, a society ruled by expectations and propriety, where a hint of immorality can bring scandal and ruin. This is an America every bit as Victorian as her contemporary England. Into this world arrives Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), a woman who has spent much of her life in Europe and is now escaping from a disastrous marriage. Her initial adult meeting with Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is sedate - he is engaged to her cousin May (Winona Ryder) - but there is a subtle fire smouldering from the first glance. From that point on, Archer's dilemma becomes painfully clear - proceed with what society deems proper and marry the rather vapid May, or allow his heart and passions to carry him far from the realm of what is conventionally acceptable.

Martin Scorsese has made a reputation from making movies that show a profound perceptiveness of human nature through their images of toughness and violence. On the surface, one would be hard-pressed to find a story more unlike Raging Bull or Goodfellas than The Age of Innocence, which seems better suited to a Merchant-Ivory production. However, Scorsese has placed his indelible stamp on this picture, not only through the camerawork, but in the potent tension that builds between the main characters. For while blood has often been Scorsese's method, the characters, and what exists between and within them, have always been his ends.

The Age of Innocence is a sumptuous motion picture, a feast fo...

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