The New World (2005) short review


Really, really beautiful film about Pocahontas and the Jamestown settlement (first years of the 1600s) in what would later become the United States. Colin Farrell is Capt. John Smith, who wasn’t fabulous but wasn’t as annoying as I thought he would be. The story if first told from his point of view as the English land in the Americas and he meets Pocahontas, then switches tack in the second half to focus on Pocahontas’s experiences. Director Terrence Malick is known for his beautiful cinematography and languid pacing, all of which were used to wonderful effect in this film. Although bits of the story were romanticized (they played up the romantic love triangle), and I’m sure there were inaccuracies, the film really portrays the beauty of the “new world” and its indigenous inhabitants. I know little to nothing about Native American attire of that era or region, so can’t comment there. The English settlers looked pretty darn tootin’ well done. At the end of the film Pocahontas visits England: her court costume is stunning and looked very faithful to the portrait of her, her other English-style dresses were very pretty but about 40-50 years out of date (plus they looked like they were designed by the same person who did the Cate Blanchett version of Elizabeth!).

new-world-2005-001-irene- bedard-00n-i4n


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

One Response

  1. Alexander Baczewski

    Other than the gross romance and utter disregard of the First nation people (As always with any depiction of them tch) and the fact none of them have on their actual dress, I guess the settlers outfits were “okay”. Historical accurate in how they looked, but out of place for the time period or a different style entirely. (I noticed some styles that were more popular in Spain and even the Netherlands that wouldn’t be in typical English fashion)


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