Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sense and Sensibility 1995

Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)Emma Thompson is a goddess.  I just want to put that out there as a fact, as irrefutable as the earth being round.  Her version of S&S from 1995 will be watched 100 years from now.  It just will. This film is one which I pop in to the DVD player when I feel like I need a good cry.  As I am typing this the music of Marianne at the piano playing her melancholy tunes instantly pops into my head.
 I am afraid of going on for fear of gushing here.  Of course, the main reason for the success of this film is Emma Thompson’s script (and she truly channeled Jane Austen for this) and her vision for the film.  Ang Lee as director gave the beauty of the locations and the talent of the actors the ability to shine here. Yes, there are small annoyances like Hugh Grant’s stiff neck substituting for real acting.  But Sir John and Mrs. Jennings are hilarious, John and Fanny Dashwood in the scene where she talks him out of giving the girls any of the inheritance is just as Jane Austen would have wanted it done.  The three sisters and their grieving mother draw you into their world.  Alan Rickman is wonderful as Brandon with his silky voice and sad eyes.  And Greg Wise is so dashing as Willoughby that Emma Thompson just had to marry him 8 years later, the lucky girl.  She deserves him.

 Music....perfection.  Beautiful scenery and locations....check. Top notch acting.... all there.  Very little to gripe about here other than the fact that it was only 136 minutes long and that she has not adapted any other Jane Austen novel or any period drama for that matter.  Nanny McPhee is cute, but we need your Cambridge trained brain working on other pieces for us Emma.  We love you. Actually, I just looked on IMDb and she is apparently the writer of the screenplay for My Fair Lady 2012.  I wait with bated breath.

Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries (Newmarket Shooting Script)One more note for anyone who loved this film.  You can purchase the screenplay (mildly interesting) which also includes her diary from the making of the film (hilarious and incredibly interesting). 

And now, I must also request some more non fiction writing from Ms. Thompson as her wit is too good to keep to herself.


  1. You are so right in saying that Emma Thompson is a goddess. I once said to one of my best friends that I wanted a friend like Emma Thompson only realizing later how it must have sounded. But since she shares my adoration for the great Emma Thompson, I was forgiven.

    To be honest, I didn't see how great this adaptation the first time around. I had read the novel a while back and loved it. I think I had different things in mind which were realized much closer in the newer ‘Sense and Sensibility’ adaptation from 2008. But years later I bought the DVD and re-watched this ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and enjoyed it so much. As you so rightly say, Emma Thompson has caught and channelled Jane Austen.

    I have the diary of Emma Thompson to the making of the film as well and that is a great diary, so insightful and human that even those stars seem like people next door, which they essentially are, I know. I am sure that Emma Thompson must have had an influence on Kate Winslet’s ease with women’s weight (though I always wondered why she was considered anything but gorgeous at all).

  2. Hi again Rena,

    I hope Emma Thompson writes a book someday because I already know that I would love it. Both Emma and Kate Winslet are amazing. I believe Emma taught Kate to roll her own cigarettes on the S&S set, for which she felt regret, but otherwise yes I think she was a great influence on young Kate.

    Did you ever hear the story that Emma Thompson threatened to quit Brideshead Revisited if they made Hayley Atwell lose weight? Go Emma!

  3. Have you read Kenneth Branagh's book (autobiography)? I enjoyed it. Just this much to the book itself, when I read it, it kind of felt easy accesing the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

  4. I love this adaptation of Sense & Sensibility. I love Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as Elinor and Marianne. They both played their parts very well. I also love Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon. He has got a lovely voice and eyes, I agree 100% with you, Jenny! I love the scene where he sees Marianne for the first time! I'm not keen on Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrers but that's all I would change. The rest of the cast are great too.

    I haven't watched this for a while so I'll have dig out my DVD and have a rewatch.

    from Leeds.

  5. "Love is not love which alters when it alteration is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken." Just love this movie. I love the old fashioned purenes of love that was common then. Hard for people today to see relationships as not primarily about sex but rather family and affection and honour even. I think that's why Col. Brandon's character is so refreshingly remarkable and admirable to people today. The old has indeed become new. Guy from Sydney

    1. Hello Guy from Sydney. So lovely to hear from a kindred spirit. I love S&S so much that I did a comparison of the two versions here (which has some great thoughtful comments below):
      Also one on the poetry from the film which I adore. Thanks for the lovely snippet in your comment above.




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