The Age of Innocence (1993) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Edith Wharton remains a major figure in American literature. Her work includes the novella Ethan Frome and the novel The House of Mirth. Wharton was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence, so it is no surprise that Martin Scorsese would want to adapt this beloved novel into a feature film. The final result is a sumptuous tale of love, passion, and desire that enchanted both critics and audiences since its original release in 1993.

A Toast

This is definitely a quintessential American period drama. The film features Oscar-winning costumes as well as terrific performances from Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder. Ryder actually won the Golden Globe for bringing May Welland to the screen, but unfortunately lost the Academy Award to Anna Paquin for The Piano. Nevertheless, the film is perfect for anyone fascinated with Nineteenth Century American culture.


Many of the most beloved period dramas come from British authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. However, Edith Wharton still deserves her own place in the literary canon given her insight into human nature through her compelling writing. Some would also say that Edith Wharton is much like an American version of Jane Austen since both of them are women who examine the manners and mores of their respective countries while also providing social commentary on life in the 1800s. Many people might be more familiar with Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two Cities, but The Age of Innocence serves as a great reminder that the stereotypically genteel period of 1870s New York might not be that innocent after all (pun intended).

The Age of Innocence (1993) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every flower

Take a Drink: for every envelope with the characters’ names on them

Take a Drink: for every classic painting

Enjoy Your Favorite Beverage: as you marvel at the gorgeous production design and lavish costumes of this beloved period piece

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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