THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
1993, Sony Repertory, 139 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorsese visits New York City’s Gilded Age in this rich adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel. Upper class lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to marry May Welland (Winona Ryder) when May’s cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), arrives from Europe. While the Countess’ desire to leave her husband invites gossip, Archer’s growing attraction to this free-thinking woman could prove even more ruinous. Meticulously crafted in every regard, from Joanne Woodward’s narration to Gabriella Pescucci’s Oscar-winning costume design, this is among Scorsese’s most underrated films.


BRINGING OUT THE DEAD
1999, Paramount, 121 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

TAXI DRIVER director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader return to the gritty streets of Manhattan - in an ambulance. This time Nicolas Cage (in one of his best performances) takes the wheel as burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce, bedeviled by a heroin epidemic that’s gripped the city and haunted by the patients he couldn’t save. His partners on the graveyard shift deal with the chaos of the job in varying ways: Ving Rhames appeals to God, while the brutal Tom Sizemore puts his trust in a baseball bat. An underrated meditation on how tenuous the ties to life and to sanity can become.


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