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.