In honor of the double birthday of Michelle Pfeiffer (57) and Daniel Day-Lewis (58), I thought I’d highlight their work (and scorching chemistry) in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence. It remains one of my all time favorite period dramas (and one of my faves of the 90s), and that unrequited love story never fails to move me to my core.
Words fail me to describe the beauty of this story… so I’m going to borrow the words of Roger Ebert: “It was the spirit of it — the spirit of the exquisite romantic pain. The idea that the mere touching of a woman’s hand would suffice. The idea that seeing her across the room would keep him alive for another year.”
Newland Archer: You gave me my first glimpse of a real life. Then you asked me to go on with the false one. No one can endure that.
Ellen Olenska: I’m enduring it.
Ellen: I think we should look at reality, not dreams.
Newland: I just want us to be together!
Ellen: I can’t be your wife, Newland! Is it your idea that I should live with you as your mistress?
Newland: I want… Somehow, I want to get away with you… and… and find a world where words like that don’t exist!
This may not be a violent film from Scorsese in physical term, but it’s certainly a vicious one in terms of matters of the heart. Certainly one of the most painfully-exquisite portrayals of unrequited love.
What’s your thoughts on The Age of Innocence?