The Age of Innocence (1993)
May 3, 2020 6:10 PM - Subscribe

“We live in an age of brutal manners, when people crudely say exactly what they mean, comedy is based on insult, tributes are roasts, and loud public obscenity passes without notice. Martin Scorsese's film "The Age of Innocence," which takes place in 1870, seems so alien it could be pure fantasy.

A rigid social code governs how people talk, walk, meet, part, dine, earn their livings, fall in love, and marry. Not a word of the code is written down anywhere. But these people have been studying it since they were born.” [via: Roger Ebert]
posted by Fizz (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This film is just so god damn good. Like it has no business being this good, except it does and it's obvious why. Every aspect of this film is so carefully detailed. I hate that I only just now got around to watching it. If you're wanting a period film to just throw yourself into so that you can not think about 2020, do yourself a favor and watch this film. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
posted by Fizz at 6:13 PM on May 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Age of Innocence is streaming in the US via Criterion and DirecTV.
posted by Etrigan at 8:18 AM on May 4, 2020

Winona Ryder really kills a thankless role.
posted by praemunire at 2:32 PM on May 4, 2020

It's interesting you say that praemunire. I'm not denying her talent in this role, but I found Michelle Pfeiffer to be doing so much more of the heavy lifting and she shows great range in her emotions and character. That Michelle was not nominated for any of the big awards this year is breaking my brain. It felt like such a snub.
posted by Fizz at 10:59 AM on May 5, 2020

It felt like such a snub

Thematically on point though.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:56 AM on May 6, 2020

This is one of those movies that makes me so annoyed, as a lover of the book. I think the sets and the feeling and the directing and the acting are all so good, but it feels completely miscast to me. One of the main themes of the book was that May was the girl everyone admired - basically the cheerleader / homecoming queen type in today's world (I could have seen Kirsten Dunst if she hadn't been too young at the time, or Florence Pugh if it was cast now), and Mme Olenska was odd and rumpled. His love for her was because she was so different from what he was supposed to want. I just can't see anyone preferring Ryder's May over Pfeiffer's Ellen.
posted by Mchelly at 5:57 AM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Rewatched last night and loved it so much. It's so deeply layered; no one says what they mean but they all understand even if we don't. It's almost like you're watching a foreign film in a language that you only half understand.

Newland is such a dolt that thinks he's being slick and is in fact totally transparent and obvious. On the other hand, May has been completely aware of everything the whole time. She's always a step ahead of him.
posted by octothorpe at 5:38 PM on June 11, 2020

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