Wealthy lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to sweet socialite May Welland (Winona Ryder) in 1870s New York.
On the surface, it is a perfect match. But when May's beautiful cousin Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is estranged from her brutish husband, arrives in town, Newland begins to question the meaning of passion and love as he desperately pursues a relationship with Ellen, even though she has been made a social outcast by Archer's peers. This is a magical tribute to a long-gone world.
And in the tradition of the great films of romantic heartbreak, it leaves us in an after-glow of yearning.