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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You loved me still the same
It was a glittering, sumptuous time when hypocrisy was expected, discreet infidelity tolerated, and unconventionality ostracized.

That is the Gilded Age, and nobody knew its hypocrises better than Edith Wharton. And while you wouldn't expect Martin Scorsese to be able to pull off an adaptation of her novel "The Age of Innocence," this movie is a trip back in...
Published on May 1 2011 by E. A Solinas

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateur American Moviemaking
Martin Scorsese is the master of films with a brutish attitude. The Last Tempatation of Christ felt more like a twist on Ridley Scott's Gladiator with a whacked out plot. To say the least Scorsese's productions are driven by strong robust performances and in this acclaimed Scorsese piece the cast does not dissappoint with morose glamour(but nothing more). Moreover the...
Published on March 18 2002


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You loved me still the same, May 1 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Age of Innocence [Import] (DVD)
It was a glittering, sumptuous time when hypocrisy was expected, discreet infidelity tolerated, and unconventionality ostracized.

That is the Gilded Age, and nobody knew its hypocrises better than Edith Wharton. And while you wouldn't expect Martin Scorsese to be able to pull off an adaptation of her novel "The Age of Innocence," this movie is a trip back in time to the stuffy upper crust of "old New York," taking us through one respectable man's hopeless love affair with a beautiful woman -- and the life he isn't brave enough to have.

Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), of a wealthy old New York family, has become engaged to pretty, naive May Welland (Winona Ryder). But as he tries to get their wedding date moved up, he becomes acquainted with May's exotic cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has dumped her cheating husband.

At first the two are just friends, but after Newland marries May, the attraction to the mysterious Countess and her free, unconventional life becomes even stronger, but he's still mired in a 100% conventional marriage, job and life. Will he become an outcast and go away with the beautiful countess, or will he stick with May and the safe, dull life that he has condemned in others?

Yeah, I kind of blinked when I found out that the subtle, bittersweet Wharton novel set in a gilded upper-crust New York... was being directed by the guy who also did "Raging Bull" and "The Gangs of New York." But fortunately Scorses sticks closely to the original novel -- we even have an omniscient narrator who quotes directly from Wharton's book as she describes New York society.

He preserves Wharton's portrayal of New York in the 1870s -- opulent, cultured, pleasant, yet so tied up in tradition that few people in it are able to really open up and live. It's a haze of ballrooms, gardens, engagements, and careful social rituals that absolutely MUST be followed, even if they have no meaning.

And he delicately brings out the powerful half-hidden emotions that the story revolves around. One great example: a sexy carriage ride where Newland slowly unbuttons Ellen's glove and gently kisses her pale wrist -- it's sensual and erotic without being explicit.

Day-Lewis gives the awesome performance you would expect -- his Newland is stiff and repressed, and nowhere near as awesomely unconventional as he thinks himself to be. Pfeiffer and Ryder don't physically look like May and Ellen, but they give excellent performances: Ryder plays a seemingly innocent, naive young woman who shows hints that she's a lot smarter than Newland thinks, while Pfeiffer plays a more worldly noblewoman who craves love and kindness.

"The Age of Innocence" is an exquisite painting of 19th-century New York's upper crust -- the hypocrisy, the beauty, and the sorrow. If only Scorsese would make more movies like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing ever happens, April 13 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Age of Innocence (VHS Tape)
Boring, monotonous, tedious, irksome, tiresome. This is one of the most dull films i've ever seen. I'm never so harsh with any picture, but i was expecting a film with a little more life. Ok, this is not "The Matrix", so i wasn't expecting to see special effects or a big body count. I knew it was a movie about emotions and feelings. I saw it at the cinema with my (then) girlfriend (now my wife).... But the actors fail to show any emotions, most of the time you'll notice a small smirk, an unnoticeable frowning or a tear, but nothing else. Well, you'll supose that this would reflect the inner suffering of the characters instead of emotional displays, but it fails miserably to evoke any emotion in the viewer. The movie moves slow (even when we are used to Scorcese's slow pacing with sudden deployment of energy and speed), and the story ends in the most pathetical way. I know that probably my review would be different if i had read the book before i saw the movie, but, alas, a movie is a movie and a book is a book. They have different languages and ways to tell the story. A clear example is "The Lord Of The Rings": the book is rather slow and dense, but the director was able to extract the most important feelings and passages and make a dynamic movie out of it.
You may wonder ¿ did your wife like the movie ? Well, actually she liked it at the cinema, but a few years later, she couldn't even remember if she ever saw it. Even when i told her some passages of the movie, she wasn't even able to recall a single image. That's probably the movie's worst defect: it goes into your system, doesn't get ever digested, and you'll quickly forget it. It's like adding more fiber to your diet, it will only help to make you remember that meat always taste better.
If you don't believe me yet, try watching the first 3 or 4 minutes of the movie: nothing ever happens, and nothing gets your attention. I had more fun writing this review than watching the movie. At least, we can learn that a great cast, a great a director, and a great book, don't necessarily make a great movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateur American Moviemaking, March 18 2002
By A Customer
Martin Scorsese is the master of films with a brutish attitude. The Last Tempatation of Christ felt more like a twist on Ridley Scott's Gladiator with a whacked out plot. To say the least Scorsese's productions are driven by strong robust performances and in this acclaimed Scorsese piece the cast does not dissappoint with morose glamour(but nothing more). Moreover the film itself feels Whartonesque, kind of. Day Lewis is the only one who seems at home with this genre. Scorsese, the producers and the cast as a whole however are way out of their league here. In typical American film fashion actors and actresses are "trained" to perform their roles. However after watching other films that target a similar audience such as the recent Gosford Park, Remains of the Day and even BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice all of which are perfectly performed by experts, one would label the characters as paper thin. Anybody who has seen these films will scoff at the languid pace and delivered lines of AOI. They say their lines as if read not spoken. All subtlety is lost in the scripting and to my final point, the biggest Scorsese mistake. Whack the narrator. One of the biggest flops in movie history is Dune a narrated piece that disgraces the legacy of the literature. Narrators are for stupid audiences that need to be educated lecture style and "entertained" in the same medium. You learn by observing in films such as P&P and Gosford Park. I mean come on, look at Altman's masterpiece where the scenes are so real with multiple conversations keeping you on your toes. I will have to see it several more times to catch everything. The narrator simply ruins any involvement the viewer may have had with the piece. In my opinion it also ruins the attempts of an adequate score to develop the emotion of the scenes. One thing Scorsese has never had is touch. It's all about whoosh and whiz, welcome to Vaudeville gypsy style hurrah. In the end he has only created a decent portrayal of a written work but has never interjected ANY of his own feelings on the subject. Try the recent rendition of Mansfield Park if you want something with some spicy flavors. It truly adds a spin, though inaccurate, to the work. Inexperienced and unsophisticated moviegoers may get involved with these characters but I've been spoiled by far too many superior performances.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, May 12 2014
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This review is from: Age of Innocence [Import] (DVD)
The Age of innocence is a well crafted story which gives us a peek at the stifling American high society of that era. It is brilliantly aged by all the cast. It is also one of the saddest movies I've see. But it is nonetheless brilliant and definitely worth seeing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very well done, Sept. 19 2013
By 
George Jones - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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I've read the other reviews about this movie, and I agree with the ones that are positive. The whole point of the story is to demonstrate how boring, hopeless and meaningless the lives of upper class New York Americans were in the latter part of the 19th century. Those people became like beautiful mannequins, dressed sumptuously, having every privilege available then, yet almost totally without freedom to be who they really were. All were imprisoned in what was "acceptable". They could only peer out through the prison bars and dream of what a real life might be like. That's the basis for the story. The actors played their parts impeccably and realistically. So, if everything in the movie seemed boring, unimaginative and tedious, that's is exactly the goal of the storyline. To portray another time, another society that robbed people of real life. After watching this, I felt very blessed to live in this time in history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Age Of Innocence, Aug. 20 2004
By 
Mr. M.Dunsky (Montreal Canada) - See all my reviews
I have found the Age of Innocence, to be one of the most charming of all the Films which I have ever seen.
If I didn't know better, I'd have thought that the Film was a production of Merchant and Ivory.
All together, a Major Film!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 21 2014
This review is from: Age of Innocence [Import] (DVD)
I felt like I was in that era. The actors were exceptional.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bon film, March 9 2010
By 
M. Beland (Qc) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
J'ai vu cette adaptation tout de suite après avoir lu le livre. Comme il est très fidèle au livre et n'apporte pas vraiment rien de nouveau, je l'ai trouvé un peu redondant. Mais sinon le film est bien, les décors très beaux et représentatifs de l'idée que je me faisais en lisant le livre.
J'ai bien aimé le jeu de Daniel Day Lewis en Newland Archer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, March 7 2004
By 
A Reader (Long Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
I can't believe that no one has reviewed this film. Everything about it is magnificent - the story, directing, cinematography, acting, sound. Scorsese is America's best director, and this may be his best film. Truly a masterpiece.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A remembered film., Feb. 15 2004
By 
welek (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - See all my reviews
In THE AGE OF INNOCENCE where monogamy is highly regarded in upscale society, divorce is needless to say an intolerable embarassing resort to broken marriage. But there are few who dared to determine it and make their own destiny, thus a story of love revolution or so called betrayal is told.
This is an immensely sentimental film casting some of the best character-portraying screen performers at that time. The younger Daniel Day-Lewis with masculine jaw lines and features is the clear choice for the perfectly chivalrous yet fragile aristocrat gentleman Newland Archer. His instant choice of wife, the forever decently sweet and optimistic May Welland is played by no one else but the well known innocent ageless princess-like Winona Ryder. While May's bold, flirtatious cousin Countess Olenska is forbidden siren Michelle Pfeiffer, blonde with every curl desirable.
Pay attention to many details of the beautiful 19th century New York backdrop setting to the very end of the film. And the stunning head titles design, a slowly racing work of blossoming roses.
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Age of Innocence [Import]
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