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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Age of Innocence

A boring movie about old New York upper crusters

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 9, 1993 -- ``The Age of Innocence'' is one of those lush historical films like ``Howard's End.'' It is filled with beautiful sets, beautiful people and beautiful photography and fine actors.

The problem with this film can be summed up in three words, boring, boring, boring. Martin Scorsese, perhaps the finest director in America, directs the film, which is dedicated to his father. It is lovingly done. It is a fine recreation of a time and a place. But the pace of the film is like the pace of drying paint.

It is too bad, but nothing much happens in the film. Main characters Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer are destined to fall in love, but their love is never consummated because of the pressure of social conventions in 19th century New York.

The subtleties and nuances of life in old New York are well portrayed and the two main characters, as well as Winona Ryder, are all fine. This slow-moving portrayal of stodgy New York upper-crusters acting like Europeans shows us customs and sensibilities so far removed from ordinary modern people it might as well be a story about the problems of Martians. Not only is it difficult for modern people to relate to this special little world of old New York, but the story lacks the depth of emotion needed to engage the interests of the audience.

After trying to get interested in the movie for the first three-quarters of the film, it finally started to pick up a little in the last quarter. Then comes the anticlimactic ending. It deflated some people in the audience like a fallen souffle.

I thought ``Howard's End'' was boring too, but compared to ``The Age of Innocence'' it was pretty lively. If you liked those two films, save up your money. There's another one on the way called ``Remains of the Day.'' Enjoy.

This film rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)