In the fashionable New York of the 1870s, lawyer Archer (Day-Lewis) is to marry beautiful, impeccably mannered airhead May (Ryder). However, he falls in love with the intelligent and ever-so-slightly dangerous Countess Olenska (Pfeiffer). She has a messy marriage behind her and is advised to avoid a divorce action which would offend the closed New York society. Beautifully paced period drama boasting excellent performances, particularly from the ever resourceful Pfeiffer. Out of five Oscar nominations, it won for best costume design.