May 9, 2012
I've watched quite a few historical/costume/19th century English dramas in my life, I must admit. I was always attracted either to the actors in it, or to the story (adaptation of a classic novel), the accents, the costumes, the shy and prude behavior of women or their inexplicable attraction to drama and suffering.
Sense&Sensibility perfectly envisions everything said above. Directed by the diverse Ang Lee, and adapted to the screen by Emma Thompson, it tells the story of two sisters, Elinor (Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet), who fight to survive, all whilst love just can't seem to stick to their bones, as men leave them one by one when they most need it.
I have not read the novel, although I planned to, so I don't know if Emma Thompson did a faithful adaptation of the Jane Austen book, but the script overall was very good. Oscar-worthy? In the amazing year that was 1995? I don't know, but I give her credit for not only being an amazing actress, but also proving herself to be a talented scriptwriter, too.
Sense&Sensibility is a wonderful movie and you should see it, if only for the cast. Kate Winslet delivers as a young, impulsive woman who craves for romantic, poetic men; Hugh Laurie somehow manages to shine, in a grumpy, yet very funny role and I though Hugh Grant was underused, like he was there just for his looks (yes, I know, that's how it is in the book, but still...I felt he needed more time on screen). But the man, for me at least, who deserves all the credit and a special mention, is ALAN RICKMAN (yes, the Caps Lock is necessary)- oh my, what a gentleman, what an accent, what a VOICE- his voice is so special, and dark and elegant, I just love it. I could listen to him talk all day.
Although, like I said, this is a very good, entertaining, visually beautiful movie, I didn't connect to it like I would have imagined. Yes, it's nice, it's sweet, but still...something wasn't there, I don't know what. If I were to compare it to other similar adaptations, I like Pride&Prejudice (with Knightley and McFadden) and Jane Eyre (with Wasikowska and Fassbender) more.
Surprisingly enough, at least to me, this movie got a lot of love from the awards season that year- Baftas, Oscar for adapted screenplay, Golden Bear at Berlin Festival, Golden Globes (best movie? in 1995? with Usual Suspects and Seven in the mix? why?). Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it for everything it has delivered, but I just didn't think it was worthy of such acclaim.
All in all, yes, you should see this movie, but you don't need to make it your top priority.
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I looooooved this film! It's also one of my favourite books. As far as adaptations go, it's pretty faithful. A couple of minor or unnecessary characters written out, but as far as I can remember that's about it.ReplyDelete
Caps lock is definitely necessary when you're talking about ALAN RICKMAN! He was so good in this, how could anyone not fall in love with him? (Well, one of my close friends is an example...but she was never a fan of Austen/period dramas to begin with, haha)
Great review Diana - I think I understand what you mean when you say there was something lacking, but for me it was just the opposite I guess :) It was probably seeing such a beloved story brought to life like this was (though I will admit it did have it's very cheesy moments *cough*theending*cough*)
I liked this one more than Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, I'm glad you liked Alan Rickman's performance he is really incredibly lovely and his voice is indeed amazing!ReplyDelete
@Ruth: Thanks, it's nice to see such an enthusiastic response to the movie, I understand where you're coming from...I actually wished I was more like you! I need a good period drama- any recommendations? BTW, have you seen Little Star, with Abbie Cornish and Ben Wishaw?ReplyDelete
@Sati: really, you favored this one to the other two great films? interesting! and yes, Rickman is just..*sigh*
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I definitely slept through huge chunks of this movie when I saw it. I know, I know, it's a terrible thing. I mean, I love Alan Rickman, too!ReplyDelete
Oh yes, I watch it few times a year and it's just such a subtle, lovely film. Everyone had such great chemistry and while P&P and jE are great, I always prefered this one because it struck me as a bit more romantic. And I always cry at the end :)ReplyDelete
I recently watched this for the LAMB Director's Chair, and I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I thought I would. Nice review, Diana!ReplyDelete
@Wilde.Dash: It's not terrible, I was bored in some parts, too :)ReplyDelete
@Alex: Thanks! Ang Lee really likes to mix things up, doesn't he? quite a diverse portfolio!
@Sati: You cry at the end? when? when he comes back?ReplyDelete
When Hugh says his heart was always hers and she starts crying and everyone is so happy :)Delete
Well, yeah, it's nice, but maybe a little too much...like everything just fell into the right place! Anyway, I liked it, it's a good movie!Delete
I've never seen this adaptation, but I've heard a lot of love for it lately. I'll see if I can pick it up to try it out. Thanks, Diana.ReplyDelete
@Max: Try it out, but if you haven't seen Jane Eyre  or Pride and Prejudice with Knightley, see those first!ReplyDelete
Wahooo!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this film, it's one of my top five favorites of all time! Bonus for mentioning ALAN RICKMAN... yes he deserves the all caps as he truly made the film for me. Who cares about the other men in this film when you've got Col. Brandon with his utmost kindness, dignity, love... and THAT VOICE. I love Alan Rickman forever because of this role and Emma Thompson's script is just top notch. There is nothing boring about this film for me, even the slowest parts are so lovely. Glad you enjoyed this Diana.ReplyDelete
I happened to see part of this on TV a couple of years ago and I said to myself, "hey, that's Hugh Laurie!" I had originally seen the movie when it came to video and at the time he hadn't come to America so I had no idea he was in the film.ReplyDelete
My favorite story related to this film is something that happened during the audio commentary for the film Love Actually. Hugh Grant is with the director and the director comments that his film re-teams Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Grant asks, "What else have they been in together?" There's a brief pause then the director responds, "Sense & Sensibility. It's a good movie. You should check it out." Grant just made a sound of disgust when he realized how stupid he had been.
@Ruth: ALAN RICKMAN!! :) thanks!ReplyDelete
@Chip: :) he really said that? stupid, indeed, must have been embarrassing for him!