It has been over a year now since I last gave a movie a full four
stars, but I saw one this weekend that got my **** rating. I can only
describe THE AGE OF INNOCENCE as devastating. Martin Scorsese
described it as his "most violent film". This is from a director who
brought you TAXI DRIVER and RAGING BULL. The violence in the film is
strictly mental. There is no physical violence or even threats of any.
The "violence" is strictly mental because the film, set in the late
1800s, is about repression and entrapment in an age of carefully
prescribed moral actions.
The sex in the film is mainly some great handholding although
there are a few kisses. The cinematography by Michael Ballhaus is
spectacular and deserves an Oscar. The images of New York in that age
The casting was excellent (Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer,
Michelle Pfeiffer as Ellen Olenska, and Winona Ryder as May Welland),
and the acting and directing near perfect. Numerous Oscar
possibilities in this film. You could feel the repression of a society
where you must act in a certain way and where most rules were extremely
strict and yet most were implicit and unspoken. Depending on your sex
it would be hard not to identify with one of the key actor or
actresses. You feel repressed when you left the theater.
When the movie was over, I could hardly move. It was the same
feeling I got when I first saw ALIENS. I just set there staring at a
blank screen. The movie left such a strong impression on me that words
seem inadequate to describe it.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE runs 2:19. I thought the editing (Thelma
Schoonmaker) perfect and would not want to see a single frame removed.
The movie is rated PG although what it did to keep it from being rated
G is not clear. Anyone older than 8 could see it, but you probably
need to be at least 15 to begin to truly understand it. This is a gem
of a movie; a near perfect movie. I award it **** and recommend this
movie strongly. Don't miss it!
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes