Sense and Sensibility
Release Year: 1995
Director: Ang Lee
Screenwriter(s): Emma Thompson, Jane Austen (novel)
Starring: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Gemma Jones, Greg Wise, James Fleet, Emilie François, Harriet Walter, Robert Hardy
Rating: Won 1 Oscar: Best Adapted Screenplay. 6 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Emma Thompson), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design. Won 2 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Adapted Screenplay. 4 Golden Globes nominations: Best Director, Best Actress – Drama (Emma Thompson), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Original Score.
Two sisters, one governed by her senses the other by her feelings, are left without many means when their father dies and leaves his estate to their half-brother. Their lives are further complicated when they both fall in love.
Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet) are sisters, but they could hardly be more different. Elinor is the sensible one who hides her emotions and knows how to behave in society, whereas Marianne values feeling above all else and is often swept away by her romantic ideas. Despite this, their bond is very strong, and when their father dies, leaving his entire estate to the half-brothers according to an inheritance law, the two sisters, their mother (an excellent Gemma Jones) and younger sister Margaret (Emilie François) must fend for themselves with only a small annuity between them. The sisters’ lives are further complicated by the three men who enter it. Marianne hurts her ankle while walking in the rain (as she is fond of doing) and is rescued by the dashing mr. Willoughby (Greg Wise), while the more reserved colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) also harbour feelings for her but receives little of her attention. Elinor, on the other hand, meets and falls for their sister-in-law’s brother Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) who seems to have little interest in her after their initial meeting. The result is a slow-paced romance as only Jane Austen can write them. The main characters are admirably deep considering what is at first glance a simple story; however, the heartbreak and seriousness of it (be it, Marianne’s overt heartache and pain, or Elinor’s restrained but just as hardfelt pain) is affecting and moving. Emma Thompson worked on the Oscar winning script for over four years and the result is a faithful and excellent adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel and Ang Lee is an inspired director choice. Lee’s ability to convey powerful emotions in a quiet and beautiful way is demonstrated wonderfully here, a feat he also showed in his 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. Sense and Sensibility was the first cinematic adaptation of a Work by Jane Austen in over 50 years and has help bring the Georgian era to the forefront of period drama. A must-see for fans of period drama.
During filming the Jane Austen Society telephoned the co-producer to complain about the casting of Hugh Grant as they felt he was too handsome to play Edward Ferrars.
Picture Copyright: Sony