The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton tells the tale of Newland Archer, engaged to May Welland, but in love with her cousin, Ellen Olenska. Unfortunately, Ellen married a Polish gentleman and moved to Europe, but her husband was unfaithful and abusive, so she left him to return to New York. Sadly, New York high society in the 1870’s is unforgiving to any woman who would consider leaving her husband, let alone attempt to get a divorce. And, because Ellen would suggest such a thing, she will never truly fit into this society. Even though Newland Archer loves Ellen, for various reasons, he is unable to break his engagement to May and run away with Ellen.
That being said, if this movie were out in the theater today, I would not run out to see it for $10. It moves a bit slowly, like the book. And, although I enjoy that quality in a story at times, it is not a quality that I seek out in a movie that I watch. However, I recommend renting the movie for only a couple bucks. It gives a great picture of high society snobbery in NY in the 1870’s. I’m so glad I missed that era!
Laura says: See it at the theater!