Anyone else feel that Martin Scorsese' film "The Age of Innocence" is underrated?

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    Jul 25, 2010 7:50 AM GMT
    Just watched (again) Martin Scorsese' film "The Age of Innocence"with Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder, from the Edith Wharton novel, and thought it extraordinary for its visuals, voice over, acting, attention to detail of the period and the way it builds an intense smothering passion between the two main characters that is never consummated because of circumstances and how it would hurt others. One feels the pain, passion and restrictive culture. Yet, there is a poetic quality. What do you guys think of this film?
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    Jul 25, 2010 2:46 PM GMT
    I absolutly agree. While in general I am "hit or miss" when it comes to period movies, they did a fantastic job with the Age of Innocence. First off, they really did capture the aura of repression Edith Wharton is so grand at playing with. Also, the film showed the depth of detail to which the Victorian culture possessed very exacting rules, some written others not, about how those in society are expected to act. The rules regarding gender are also clearly separate, but of course position has the final say.
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    Jul 25, 2010 6:20 PM GMT
    I think the other thing that Scorsese absolutely got right was that the rules of Victorian age society were closer to Mafia rules than we like to think. If you violated societal norms back then, you were out! It's a great movie.
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    Jul 25, 2010 6:42 PM GMT
    You guys' viewpoints are interesting about this film. Though I admire Martin Scorsese, I heard quite awful things about this film, in addition to my own prejudice. First, I heard Winona Ryder brought down the film with her under-acting, a la Sofia Coppola in "The Godfather, Part III." Secondly, I was never fond of Daniel Day Lewis since I always feel he over-acts in all his parts, as I witnessed in "In the Name of the Father" and "The Last of the Mohicans" (I stopped watching that film midway).

    Perhaps I will have to watch this movie, especially since I like other similar period pieces, like those of Merchant-Ivory.
  • GQjock

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    Jul 25, 2010 8:35 PM GMT
    I enjoyed the movie very much
    I'm a sap for those period movies
    and Age of Innocence was noteworthy because it showed the absolute law people lived by when it came to social interaction and the repercussions that ensued if you broke them
    Many of the other films that deal with this time period merely gloss over that fact
  • xebec75

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    Jul 25, 2010 9:33 PM GMT
    Ha, I agree with all of the above posts! I thought the movie was stunning visually and an excellent representation of the period generally. I thought the female actresses were poorly cast. I thought Michelle Pfeiffer was too conventionally pretty for the role she played.Winona was obviously a studio choice. The montage scenes are a good example of what film can do better than books in some ways. Under-appreciated for sure.
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    Jul 26, 2010 12:54 AM GMT
    For me it was like watching paint dry.

    It may have been a fantastic filmic realization of the source-novel, but for me a period piece needs to resonate in the present to make watching interesting. Just showing high-society's restrictions without reflecting on them or commenting on them did not get me involved with the characters.

    That's why I can't deal with straight-up Shakespeare as the mores displayed there are even more foreign to today's.
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    Jul 26, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    Thanks guys; I read and will read all responses with interest and appreciation of your taking the time to comment.
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    Jul 26, 2010 2:45 AM GMT
    I totally agree with you about "The Age of Innocence".
    It's a great film.

    It also has a lot of the feeling and pain of "Brokeback Mountain"
    They're both about passionate loves prevented from being fulfilled by the constraints of society.
    And about missed opportunites and regret.
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    Jul 26, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    bernd said That's why I can't deal with straight-up Shakespeare as the mores displayed there are even more foreign to today's.

    ?
    Aside from the beauty and power of the verse, what makes Shakespeare live is his ability to understand and portray universal emotions like love, jealousy, ambition, remorse and so on. These are just the same now as they were in the Renaissance.
    "Hamlet" is far more contemporary than the "Age of Innocence."
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    Jul 26, 2010 3:36 AM GMT
    I agree with you on how Shakespeare portrays universal emotions.

    I hadn't realized the relationship of "The Age of Innocence" with "Brokeback Mountain," but now that you say it...Of course! And in that way "The Age of Innocence" is far more relevant than just a beautifully visual, mannered period piece. I can relate to the emotions in it.
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    Aug 01, 2010 1:26 AM GMT
    TexDef07 said
    bernd said That's why I can't deal with straight-up Shakespeare as the mores displayed there are even more foreign to today's.

    ?
    Aside from the beauty and power of the verse, what makes Shakespeare live is his ability to understand and portray universal emotions like love, jealousy, ambition, remorse and so on. These are just the same now as they were in the Renaissance.
    "Hamlet" is far more contemporary than the "Age of Innocence."
    I find Shakespeare deals to much in absolutes, exaggerations of emotional states and not enough rational thought. In my experience people don't deal with each other like in Shakespeare-plays. I bet all his 'conflicts' could be resolved if the 2 main characters would just sit down and talk things over. What if Desdemona had asked her oaf of a husband what's wrong and where he got if info from? Play over.
  • Weirjohn

    Posts: 12

    Aug 12, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    I liked this film very much! It was the first movie by Scorsese I had ever seen, and later I was disappointed by movies such as Casino.
    The Age of Innocence is made of beautiful scenes. I especially like the part at Mr and Mrs van der Leyden (not sure of the name, though).
    I registered the movie but it was in French while I'd rather watch it in English now... I also must read the book by Wharton.
  • rainier67

    Posts: 25

    Aug 13, 2010 1:39 AM GMT
    Beautiful film