Rendered with sumptuous, almost painful accuracy, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, adapted from the novel by Edith Wharton, seems at first glance an unlikely venture for relentlessly contemporary New Yorker Martin Scorsese. But its loving exploration of the arcane workings of a closed society, that
of wealthy, well-bred New Yorkers of the 1870s, has more in common than one might expect with Scorsese's earlier work, from MEAN STREETS through GOODFELLAS. Perhaps the film's most remarkable aspect is how alien its underlying assumptions are to a society saturated with "Just Do It!" messages.
Beneath the delineation of manners and mannerisms, the examination of lushly appointed de...