The Age of Innocence 1993

Amazon Instant Video

(27)

An adaptation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which chronicles the hypocrisy of high society in the 1880s and tells of three wealthy New Yorkers caught in a love triangle.

Starring:
Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer
Runtime:
2 hours 12 minutes

The Age of Innocence

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Martin Scorsese
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer
Supporting actors Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Sian Phillips, Miriam Margolyes, Alec McCowen, Michael Gough
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By mneads@hotmail.com on 26 Mar 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A rarity, in that the film is better than the novel! Based on the novel of the same name by Edith Wharton, Scorsese keeps strictly to the text by good use of narration. The cinematography and direction are excellent. The opening titles with the rose unfolding are beautiful, and the ball-room scene is well handled.
Day-Lewis, Pfeiffer and Ryder all give exceptional performances which just catch you up in the story. Even though there is actually very little action, the story, direction and acting all combine to carry you along, and break your heart together with the characters.
One of my all time favourite films, which I would recommend as a must see!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ShopperGirl on 12 Jan 2013
Format: DVD
Martin Scorsese directs Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder in a good adaptation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. A romance about three New Yorkers caught in a tragic love triangle, this is a well produced film that keeps your attention throughout. I recently saw this again having watched it many years ago and I can say that without doubt this has stood the test of time well.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 5 Mar 2004
Format: DVD
My best memory of Age of Innocence is because I saw it in Hong Kong in 1994, complete with Cantonese subtitles! What the Chinese made of 19th Century American society I don't know, but this drama of manners displays the gentler, subtler side of Scorsese's virtuoso film-making talent - none too evident in his more explosive and passionate films, but none the worse for that.
He uses a full palette to create light and shade without the sin of being clumsy or heavy-handed in any way. In fact, the director keeps a light touch throughout, greatly to his credit.
The underlying tensions within this moral tale are heavily contained and masked by the mores and culture of respectable society. not difficult to see why actors of a certain ilk love period drama, when they can use a full breadth of emotional techniques, with and without dialogue. Day Lewis, Pfeiffer and Ryder enjoy themselves to good effect, and the story is told competently throughout.
Not the most exciting film you'll ever see, but worthy of appreciation, particularly as a competitively-priced DVD.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on 13 Jun 2004
Format: DVD
Imagine living in a world where life is governed by intricate rituals; a world "balanced so precariously that its harmony [can] be shattered by a whisper" (Wharton); a world ruled by self-declared experts on form, propriety and family history - read: scandal -; where everything is labeled and yet, people are not; where in order not to disturb society's smooth surface nothing is ever expressed or even thought of directly, and where communication occurs almost exclusively by way of symbols, which are unknown to the outsider and, like any secret code, by their very encryption guarantee his or her permanent exclusion.
Such, in faithful imitation of Victorian England, was the society of late 19th century upper class New York. Into this society returns, after having grown up and lived all her adult life in Europe, American-born Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), after leaving a cruel and uncaring husband. She already causes scandal by the mere manner of her return; but not knowing the secret rituals of the society she has entered, she quickly brings herself further into disrepute by receiving an unmarried man, by being seen in the company of a man only tolerated by virtue of his financial success and his marriage to the daughter of one of this society's most respected families, by arriving late to a dinner in which she has expressly been included to rectify a prior general snub, by leaving a drawing room conversation to instead join a gentleman sitting by himself - and worst of all, by openly contemplating divorce, which will most certainly open up a whole Pandora's box of "oddities" and "unpleasantness": the strongest terms ever used to express moral disapproval in this particular social context.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Mar 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A Martin Scorsese film set in New York. Sound familiar? He's covered this territory before, but this time it's the 1870s and there isn't a gun in sight or an obscenity to be heard. Adapted from Edith Wharton's novel of the same name, 'The Age of Innocence' is the director's first costume period drama, telling the story of Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his passionate but unrequited love for the divorced Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). The film is really about the ultra-repressive social codes of the time, and the characters' absolute inability to break them. The costumes and setting are both beautiful, but you end up feeling as frustrated as Newland Archer himself, what with the lack of - for want of a better word - action!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ja McLaughlin on 20 Jun 2012
Format: DVD
A stuffy young lawyer and socialite approaching his fashionable society wedding finds himself emotionally conflicted when his scandalous cousin returns unexpectedly from a broken marriage in Europe.

Though it may hardly seem it at first glance, Martin Scorcese's faithful adaptation of Edith Wharton's classic study of upper class New Yorkers in the 1870s is actually something of a companion piece to his Gangster epic Goodfella's, made three years earlier.

Like that bloody Mafia saga, this sumptuous film is less interested in plot than in a minute dissection of lifestyle among a particular social group. Scorsese wants to know what they wear, where they live, what they eat, where they go, and above all how the rigid rules and manners of their society determine what they are and how they behave.

The story is a tragi-comic catalogue of missed opportunities as stiffly formal lawyer Daniel Day-Lewis prepares to marry sweet but vacuous Winona Ryder to unanimous social approval. Unexpectedly, he finds himself falling for scandalous second cousin Michelle Pfieffer, who has had the audacity to walk out on her marriage to a philandering European Count.

Warily they begin an emotionally intense yet hesitant affair; Day-Lewis never quite having the courage to turn his back on the conformity that dictates his life and the path that he is expected to follow. Pfeiffer is bolder and more reckless, but financially dependant on New York relatives whose approval she must keep in order to stop them packing her back to the errant but repentant husband.

Long, slow but always engrossing and full of interest, Scorcese displays an almost obsessive eye for period detail and mastery of social observance.
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