The Age of Innocence appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Taken from a new 4K transfer, Innocence looked glorious.
At all times, sharpness remained terrific. Nary a soft spot marred this tight, well-defined presentation.
No issues with moiré effects or jaggies materialized, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the film.
Colors favored warm, lush reds and golds. These came across with exquisite fidelity and appeared full and rich.
Blacks appeared deep and dark, while shadows demonstrated smooth, clear elements. I felt totally impressed by this stunning presentation.
Though not as memorable, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack satisfied, with a soundscape heavy on music and ambience. The score filled all five channels, while effects tended toward environmental material that most came to life in crowds and other louder scenes. None of these dazzled, but they suited the story.
Audio quality worked well, with warm, concise speech. Music sounded lively and smooth, while effects appeared accurate and lacked distortion. This became a more than adequate mix for a low-key character drama.
Most of the disc’s extras revolve around modern-day chats, and we start with an Interview with Director Martin Scorsese. In this 23-minute, 24-second piece, Scorsese discusses the film’s development and influences, the adaptation of the novel and story/characters/themes, sets, locations and period details, photography and visuals.
While not a substitute for a commentary, Scorsese offers a pretty good overview of the project. Though I’d like a bit more depth and detail, the interview runs through the basics reasonably well.
During a 23-minute, one-second Interview with Co-Screenwriter Jay Cocks, we find info about research and the adaptation of the source, collaborating with Scorsese, the film’s use of narration, story/characters and cast/performances, and connected domains. Cocks provides a peppy and informative chat.
Next comes an Interview with Production Designer Dante Ferretti. This reels lasts 19 minutes, four seconds and involves Ferretti’s thoughts about collaborating with Scorsese and his work on Innocence. We learn a fair amount about the subject matter here.
Finally, we locate an Interview with Costume Designer Gabriella Pescucci. She participates in an 18-minute, 53-second program in which she looks at her preparation and research, specifics about her creations, and related material. Pescucci delves into the topics well and makes this another strong chat.
From 1993, Innocence and Experience provides a 25-minute, 27-second featurette that ran on HBO. It offers comments from Scorsese, Cocks, Ferretti, cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, composer Elmer Bernstein, producer Barbara De Fina, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, GoodFellas writer Nicholas Pileggi, and actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard E. Grant, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder.
“Experience” examines story/characters/themes, Scorsese’s approach to the project, research and period details, cast and performances, costumes, the narration, music, the depiction of New York City, and contrasts with other Scorsese films. A few decent insights appear here – along with footage from the set – but this usually exists as a promotional effort without much depth.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a booklet. It mixes credits, photos and an essay from film critic Geoffrey O’Brien. The booklet finishes the set well.
In a shift from his usual MO, Martin Scorsese made a quiet period drama with The Age of Innocence, and he achieves his particular goals. Unfortunately, he also gives us a movie devoid of emotion or drama that drives a long road to nowhere. The Blu-ray delivers stunning picture quality along with good audio and a fairly informative collection of bonus materials. As much as I respect the film’s unusual aims, the end result bores too much of the time.