The Age of Innocence
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The Age of Innocence
In Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel, romance between an upper-class gentleman and an ostracized lady is doomed by 19th century New York society. Shortly after his engagement to blandly genteel May Welland (Winona Ryder), Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is reacquainted with May's scandalous cousin Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). As the head of an esteemed family, Archer initially uses his standing to try to rehabilitate Ellen's reputation, but he finds himself increasingly drawn to her disregard for the codes of New York manners. Bound by ingrained… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I don't know any of those [prior] versions, and I wonder how (which means I doubt that) they avoided the snare that Wharton unwittingly set for her adapters, the snare that, for all his gifts, caught Scorsese."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Spurning Masterpiece Theatre twittiness, Scorsese cuts to the primal passions of Wharton's tale."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Day-Lewis and Pfeifer are on top form with Ryder giving the performance of her career."
‑ Angie Errigo, Empire Magazine
"The Age of Innocence drags through some of the usual costume movie elements, but Scorsese's exuberance carries the show."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The great tragedy is that the hypocrisies that Newland and Olenska work to reveal are the very same ones that ultimately destroy everything passionate and human within them."
‑ Derek Smith, Cinematic Reflections
"Manages to be both personal and true to its source, though it never quite comes together."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Mr. Scorsese has made a big, intelligent movie that functions as if it were a window on a world he had just discovered, and about which he can't wait to spread the news."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Gorgeously shot, deceptively genteel period drama. Day-Lewis, Ryder and in particular Pfieffer give performances as polished as the silver and the result is slow, subtle but irresistibly powerful."
‑ , Film4
"The movie seems a departure from Scorsese's turf of violence and lower class men, but Wharton's depiction of rigid milieu with its restrictive mores and emotional repression bears resemblance to Little Italy's male subculture."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A moving and impassioned work from one of the foremost filmmakers today."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"An extraordinarily sumptuous piece of filmmaking."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Scorsese's most poignantly moving film."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It shows that while conformity can stifle honesty and love, acting in mere self-interest can be even more destructive."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A stylish but fairly forgettable Scorsese effort"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"Scorsese must stay away from period pieces."
‑ Victoria Alexander,
More reviews for The Age of Innocence on Rotten Tomatoes