Sunday, December 5, 2010

If you like period-dramas

You should watch The Age of Innocence.

How did this come about?

Well, you see, at the Honors banquet this year, I sat down in front of Seabiscuit, since I adore horses and love horse racing. Well, next to me sat this intriguing novel called The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Now I had read Ethan Frome in high school, and while I felt that it was simple and nothing really happened, the simplicity was actually enjoyable. I was also interested in this new novel because of the description, and the fact that it had been made into a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis (who is very handsome), Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. So I stole it from Alyssa with the promise that I would give it back once I finished. No matter, she found it somewhere else. Now I get to keep it!

Given this is an Edith Wharton novel, I wasn't expecting bliss. If you haven't read Ethan Frome but are planning on it, don't read ahead cause I'm gonna spoil it.

I mean, in that novel, the two in love try to kill themselves by running their sled into a tree, and at the last second Ethan pulls away and they hit it, though not fatally. Then he basically spends the rest of his life in misery.

Well, it seems Wharton loves love triangles; The Age of Innocence is no different.

A brief plot summary in case you are interested, courtesy of Sparknotes (Slightly edited by me):

Newland Archer couldn't be more pleased with his recent engagement to the beautiful debutante May Welland. However, his world is thrown upside down by the sensational arrival of May's cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska. Recently returned to America after separating from her husband, a philandering Polish count, Countess Olenska shocks the staid New York aristocracy with her revealing clothes, carefree manners, and rumors of adultery. As Archer comes to better know the Countess, he begins to appreciate her unconventional views on New York society. Meanwhile, Archer becomes increasingly disillusioned with his new fianceƩ, May. He begins to see her as the manufactured product of her class: polite, innocent, and utterly devoid of personal opinion and sense of self.

Anyway, the movie is a gorgeous period piece with great acting, beautiful costumes and remarkable faith to the book, which is quite moving. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if you ever have 2 and a half hours with nothing to do, you might too!

Here is the trailer :

Whatevs. I thought it was fantastic.

No comments:

Post a Comment