He had heard her name often enough during the year and a half since they had last met. He was even familiar with the main incidents of her life. But he heard all these accounts with detachment, as if listening to reminiscences of someone long-dead. But the past had come again into the present, as in those newly-discovered caverns in Tuscany, where children had lit bunches of straw, and seen old images staring from the wall. He gave himself a single chance. She must turn before the sailboat crosses the lime rock light. Then, he would go to her.
Michelle Pfeiffer as Ellen Olenska in The Age of Innocence (1993)
Newland. You couldn’t be happy if it meant being cruel. If we act any other way I’ll be making you act against what I love in you most. And I can’t go back to that way of thinking. Don’t you see? I can’t love you unless I give you up.
“Has modern-day cinema ever found itself a more stunning romance actress than Michelle Pfeiffer? Scorsese once called her “the best we have” after seeing her in Dangerous Liaisons, and based on the evidence of Pfeiffer’s dazzling, disgraced, deeply-felt Countess Ellen Olenska in Scorsese’s lush Edith Wharton adaptation, it’s hard not to take him at his word. Grappling wondrously with Daniel Day-Lewis as the betrothed, upper-crust object of her affections, Pfeiffer cuts right to the heart of Wharton’s incisive, nineteenth-century social critique with all the exquisite tension and slow-burning emotion of an intense and impossible love deferred. Just looking at a still of Pfeiffer in this is enough to make you wish that this poignant, perceptive performer still worked at the rate at which we need her, which is always.” — Matthew Eng