Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Geraldine Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce
Impeccable. Passionate. Masterly.
New York, 1870s. Newland Archer (Day-Lewis) appears to live a charmed life. He’s affluent, handsome, and engaged to the beautiful May Welland (Ryder), but his passion is awakened when he meets his fiancé’s troubled cousin, Ellen Olenska (Pfieffer), who’s still married and looked upon by society unfavorably. My favorite novel, Scorsese adapts Edith Wharton’s work beautifully, demonstrating an unparalleled level of craft and skill. His camera, constantly moving, gives an impressionistic depiction of upscale New York civilization, and true to the book’s themes, we see how in a society as rich and beautiful as the one Newland Archer dwells in, a man can still be trapped and his soul crushed. There’s the perception of freedom, but honorable men such as Newland, have their life made for them, and then we come to the haunting finale, which is heartbreaking.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-