Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book to Movie Review: Sense and Sensibility

I read Sense and Sensibility...so I had to see the movie.

Jane Austen should have been a playwright!  I have yet to see an Austen movie adaptation that I didn't love.  This just proves to me that her novels are so full of rich dialogue and engaging drama that if the movie is done well, which Sense and Sensibility was, it could be done as beautifully as the novel. 

I loved the acting, the accents, the costumes, the estates, the grounds, all of it!  I don't care whether the shots of Cleveland and Norland** were real or movie magic, I believed every square inch.  I thought Mrs. Jennings and Sir John on screen were hilariously funny, and Kate Winslet was perfection as Marianne, and Alan Rickman is brilliant, as always.  I got completely caught up in 18th century England. 

I saw the 1995 film adaptation, which was directed by Ang Lee (yes, THAT Ang Lee), and the Oscar-winning screenplay was written by Emma Thompson herself.  The movie also won a Golden Globe for best film and best screenplay.

A short list of the cast:
Marianne Dashwood - Kate Winslet (who won the SAG award for Best Supporting Acress)
Elinor Dashwood - Emma Thompson
Edward Ferrars - Hugh Grant
Colonel Brandon - Alan Rickman
John Willoughby - Greg Wise

From imdbEmma Thompson's first draft of the screenplay consisted of 350 hand-written pages. The final draft was a culmination of that and 13 other drafts which were written over four and a half years.

If that isn't a labour of love, I don't know what is. 

I was one of those kids (*ahem* adults) who practiced thanking the Academy in front of my bedroom mirror.  I love movies as much as I love books.  Truly, if I had to pick one medium over another, I don't think I could do it.  Unfortunately, my two favorite mediums of entertainment don't often mesh well together.  When a book is made into a film, the end result is usually disappointment.  Sense and Sensibility is one of those rare exceptions. 

**I found the website of where the exterior and interior shots were filmed for Cleveland estate:  Ham House, Richmond, Surrey, England, UK  Norland shots were filmed at Wrotham Park, Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, UK. Who needs movie magic when you film in England??


Anonymous said...

I'll have to find that version, I believe i've already seen all the other versions. LOL Thank you for the review.


Anonymous said...

The is one of my all time favorite movies - it just strickingly beautiful and I cry at the end EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Alison said...

Debbie - You and I should have an Austen movie marathon!

Stephanie - So glad I wasn't alone in the blubbering! Emma Thompson...there are no words!

Caroline said...

I loved this movie version. Granted, the first time I saw it, I was going through an Alan Rickman phase at the time, but it still holds up!

Alison said...

Alan Rickman is mesmerizing. My husband will always think of him as Hans from Die Hard!

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