The Age of Innocence (1993)

There is no better word to describe Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-winning novel than ‘sumptuous.’ From the gorgeous costumes to the stunning set design, this is an absolute feast for the senses: Exploring 1870s New York society through the lens of a doomed romance between Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer, Scorsese recreates a world lost to history that seems both breathtakingly ornate and oppressively regimented, defined as it was by the self-imposed mores of a class that saw itself as society’s elite. The movie falls short of being a masterpiece due to a disappointing lack of romantic chemistry between Day-Lewis and Pfeiffer, but Winona Ryder shines as the underestimated fiancee of Day-Lewis, hiding a cunning nature behind an innocuous girlishness. It’s certainly not for everyone due to its languid pace (and casual Scorsese fans may be taken back by the movie’s mannered, tempered nature), but those who appreciate period pieces and American social history will be delighted.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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