Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sense and Sensibility- 1995 vs 2008

Sense and Sensibility 1995

Having watched both versions of Sense and Sensibility recently, I feel the time is right for a post comparing and contrasting the two versions (does that sound like an English Lit class?-sorry!).

One version I like and the other version I love. Can you already tell which is which?

Sense and Sensibility 2008

The 2008 BBC miniseries with screenplay by Andrew Davies and directed by John Alexander is an excellent treatment of Jane Austen's first published novel. I adore Andrew Davies and I did not envy him the task of following Emma Thompson's Oscar winning screenplay. When he took on the job, he decided to go back to the book and pull out plot points that ET had been forced to omit in her shorter version.

Willoughby and Marianne

The dramatization of the seduction scene, the restoration of the elder Steele sister (comic gold, I tell you) and the dueling scene really do add to the meat of this version. There is also no doubt that the scene at Allenham with Willoughby and Marianne is sizzling with sexual tension and greatly adds to Marianne's story.

OK, little Henry Dashwood was hilarious

There are lots of things about this version that I truly enjoy. The young actors are amazing and the locations gorgeous and appropriately bleak.  To paraphrase Elinor, "I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of it -- that I greatly esteem, that I like it."

However, I think you have guessed by now that the version I truly adore is the 1995 Emma Thompson/Ang Lee masterpiece. I just popped it in my DVD player and the first strains of music go straight to my heart!


Oh, the hats of Sense and Sensibility!

There is no doubt that the genius and humour of Emma Thompson's script is at the heart of what makes this version great. She changed so much of Jane Austen's dialogue and yet because she does it so well, we not only forgive her but we begin to look for her lines in the book!

Oh, the scenery and the cinematography!

Ang Lee's direction is also heartbreakingly artistic. How a Taiwanese man was able to interpret the intentions of a 200 year old story by an English lady is a mystery, but there it is!

But the music!

The original score of Sense and Sensibility is some of the most sublime music ever composed. Was there ever a film so enhanced and elevated by it's music? Both the background music and the piano compositions played by Marianne...sigh!

And if I start waxing poetic about the superb acting in this film by some of England's finest thespians this post will go on forever.

OK, time for my readers to weigh in. What do you like or dislike about each of these two versions? Don't hold back!

P.S. I have also recently compared TV/film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice if you would like to join that discussion too!

60 comments:

  1. I prefer the latter for all the reasons you state, although the ET version still holds a treasured spot in my heart, and you're right, it does capture the essence of S&S so beautifully with music and visuals.

    The acting in both is just superb as are the scripts, and Andrew Davies did opt for the format that enabled him to go longer than 2 hours, which the story needs to be complete.

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  2. Although I have to admit that I have only seen the 2008 Andrew Davies version once (I think I borrowed your copy, didn't I?) - I'm going to have to take another look at it, because I don't actually remember the elder Steele sister (anything described as comic gold has got my attention!) or little Henry Dashwood. As you well know, the 1995 Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version is completely written on my heart and I think I know it word for word, note for note, shot for shot. Perfection (sigh)! And I love the extras on the DVD - the commentary by Emma Thompson and Lindsay Doran is too funny (the fainting sheep!) and Emma's acceptance speech at the Golden Globes (written as reportage from Jane Austen herself) is fabulous.

    But lend me your copy of 2008 S & S again (I DID give it back, didn't I?) and I'll take another look ... I'm sure I'll greatly esteem it, too.

    Haven't yet been able to convince your niece to watch it with me, but one of these days I'm hoping it'll become a mother-daughter bonding moment for us!

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  3. I love both versions, but haven't watched them for a few years. On watching the 2008 version, it took top spot, because of all the "extras" of the longer format and feeling the actors were more appropriate...but I also love the 1995 version! I call it a draw...and we can all enjoy both. :) I even did fanvids for both versions. ;)

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  4. I agree with you. I think Emma's is the superior S&S. I think Thompson and Grant clicked, and Kate Winslet was spot on in her dramatics and acceptance. I can still hear Brandon saying, "Give me something to do or I shall run mad!" And Hugh Laurie nearly stole the movie.

    The later version is OK, but I didn't buy it. That tells you something.

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  5. I think what I dislike about the 1995 version is the cast looks much older than the characters they play. The 2008 cast looks more the age of the characters they play. But I love both, and you can't go wrong with either. But I think I would lean towards the 2008 version since I love David Morrisey. Even if Col. Brandon is my favorite role that Alan Rickman has done

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  6. Oh well done, Jenny! I too love the music from the 1995 S&S, they need to make more soundtracks like that one! :)

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  7. Hi Jenny:

    I would have to say without a doubt the 1995 version. And not only because it was my first exposure to Jane Austen. Although I liked seeing the extended scenes in the newer version, I love the cast of Ang Lee's masterpiece. I think Alan Rickman could act with the back of his head!
    I think a movie version of Sense and Sensibility hangs on casting the right Colonel Brandon and Edward. They are gone for such long passages of the story that they have to be memorable and make an impact. Edward was great, but I thought Col. Brandon was lacking. For me he was too reserved. Perhaps it was the directing. I would have chosen Willobey as well.
    Dare I say it...I am torn however, between Emma Thompson and Hattie Morahan as Elinor. They both captured the role perfectly.

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  8. Hello Sense and Sensibility lovers! I am so glad there is no consensus on this one. Yay for both versions! And apparently I will have to lend my 2008 version to my sister again so she can appreciate the comic genius of Jane Austen in the form of the elder Miss Steele and her many beaux!

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  9. you know, i thought that this would've been an easy going, stressfree blog... but now i have to choose the better between two perfectly excellent movies?!:)...sigh
    "I think Alan Rickman could act with the back of his head!" - soo funny but soo true. (i even liked him in Robinhood)
    i really loved the cast for both but with a preference for 1995's Elinor's 'paroxysmal' reaction at the end(kinda like a 3D effect of her emotions), Colonel Brandon and Mr Palmer and his wife. for 2008 the heavyweight is Edward and the chemistry between himself and Elinor and the rest of Elinor's family. but both stories - excellent.

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  10. I definitely prefer the 2008 version. Personnaly I find Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant too modern for the movie. Also the music from the new series is so beautiful... I don't know about you guys but the music from the 1998s didn't stay in my mind.

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  11. Can someone please explain to me why Marianne called Fanny, "Aunt Fanny" or "Aunt" during the first 9 minutes of the 2008 version?

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    1. Hello Jaunita. Andrew Davies made a mistake! You are so right. I never noticed that Marianne calls her Aunt Fanny in the 2008 version, although all the references to her husband call him their brother or half-brother. Rare mistake for the brilliant Andrew Davies! Shall we let him know or do you think he caught it but too late?

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    2. Actually, Collins English Dictionary lists a third definition of "aunt" as: "a term of address used by children for any woman, especially a friend of the parents." It was a less formal address than "Mrs. Dashwood," but not so intimate as calling Fanny by her first name, which would have been considered disrespectful. So no worries about Andrew Davies' brilliance! ;) He's just a little too brilliant for modern society. It took quite a bit of research for me to find the explanation!

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    3. Just to add to this thought: I'm from New England and where I come from "aunt" is used in this sentiment as well. For example, my mother's cousin was always "aunt" to me. This wasn't the case for my father's family.

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  12. It is the 2008 version all the way for me. Very true to the book but with just the right amount of embellishment. Hattie Morahan is not only more believable as Eleanor, but also made the part her own. She was superb. Dan Stevens also made Edward far more sympathetic than the very stilted performance by Hugh Grant. The settings, the music and the casting were all spot on. There really is no comparison. One is a stand alone film, the other is a brilliant representation of the novel.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. For fave version of Sense and Sensibility, there seems to be a split down the middle. I think maybe the younger crowd tends to prefer the newer version. Goes to show that both are wonderful and deserve to be appreciated!

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  13. I, like many of you, am really torn. There are many qualities of the 95 version, most notably the performances of Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and yes, Hugh Laurie, that are indelibly etched in my catalog of fondness. But I agree with many posters that Hattie Morahan was sublime in her subdued suffering. I also felt that many of those cast in the 1995 version were older than they ought to have been in order to be true to the story. Just think on it...it did seem absurd for Colonel Brandon (AR) to be considering Marianne for a wife, but Elinor (ET) would not have seemed a stretch at all. I even recall thinking after the production was over and it became public knowledge that ET and Greg Wise (Willoughby) were an item that he is awfully young for her, when in fact he is only 7 years younger than her but was 9 years older than Kate Winslet, making Emma and Kate 16 years apart in age.
    Lastly, I just don't dig Hugh Grant. He did too many movies in that era like Notting Hill and 4 Weddings and a Funeral where he plays kind of a foppish absent minded pushover. I think of Edward Ferrars as being a dutiful, honorable man who would foresake his own feelings and hopes of personal happiness to uphold a vow he made as a younger man. Daniel Stevens seems tortured by his obligation to Lucy Steele, whereas Hugh Grant just comes off as confused.

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  14. Ang Lee is Taiwanese. Also a little offensive that you said that it was a mystery to you that he was able to interpret Austen's intentions based solely on his race...

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    1. I am very sorry if any offence was taken to my perhaps flippant remark. I have corrected his nationality (thanks for pointing that out). I actually think it is rather wonderful that the filmmakers were able to see past his nationality and sex to see that he could really express Jane Austen in film. Again, apologies.

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    2. I recently read a review that indicated Mr. Lee is of upper-class Taiwanese family. He would be familiar with the demands of family for 'suitable' marriages as far as finances and position are concerned. In another film featuring Emma Thompson, Remains of the Day, he also showed familiarity with more modern upper-class British senses and sensibilities.

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    3. I need to correct part of the comment above. You probably already know, Merchant & Ivory produced Remains of the Day. The novel was written by Japanese author, Kazuo Ishiguro, making it as much a surprise as Ang Lee directing this film. However, here is Mr. Lee on his involvement: Lee said, "I thought they were crazy: I was brought up in Taiwan, what do I know about 19th-century England? About halfway through the script it started to make sense why they chose me. In my films I've been trying to mix social satire and family drama. I realized that all along I had been trying to do Jane Austen without knowing it. Jane Austen was my destiny. I just had to overcome the cultural barrier."

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  15. Hi,
    Could you tell me, what is the second piece Marianne had played at the beginning of the 1995 version - aprox. at 4:30.
    Thank you very much in advance.
    Regards,
    Ildikó

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    1. Hello Ildiko. I don't know what that piece of music is. You mean the one where Elinor says "I meant something less mournful dear" don't you? I looked online and there doesn't seem to be a name for it. Anyone else know? Wiki answers?

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    2. Hello Jenny,
      Yes, exactly. I have spent myself days on the internet searching for it, but it seems, nobody likes these kind of sad songs :)
      Btw. the piece's mood I looking for is recall op. 28 no. 4 by Chopin for me, but unfortunately I am not familar with his oeuvre.

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    3. I am not regular on this blog, but a bit about the music in your query. First, most of the soundtrack is by modern composer Patrick Doyle. And so that you know, anything by Chopin would be a horrid anachronism in a Jane Austen story. This book was written in 1795, published in 1811. Chopin was then in his first year of life, and we presume, had not yet set one note to a score. He flourished in the 1830s, two decades after the author's death. The soundtrack is available as a CD, under the same title as the film (and book, of course).

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  16. I saw the ET version first and loved it, then I read the book and thought, "Wait a minute, where's all these characters?" The ET version cut out so many people which added depth and sorry to say it but ET was way too old to play Eleanor, she just didn't look 19. I listened to her commentary and she noted that which I believe she took offense but sorry ET it's the truth.

    The BBC version casts actors/actresses that look the part age wise. It included so many characters that were left out and added to important scene of Willoughby coming to see about Marianne when she was sick.

    So because I like versions that stick to the book I like the BBC better but will say that the ET one is beautiful and the music is awesome. I personally love Alan Rickman so of course I loved him in the ET one.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. We are lucky to have both versions aren't we? And the book of course. I hope they do another version of each book every decade. Never too much Austen on film for me!

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    3. I agree with everything you say, these were all positive things that ET script had ignored. BUT I am rewatching the 2008 version right now and I can't believe all the things that Andrew Davies purposely changed in the script. He was not that faithful to the novel in important dialogue lines for no apparent reason (exept to make it even more different to ET's???)

      For example, in the miniseries the first episode is all about how Marianne really liked Colonel Brandon before Willoughby appears in the scene, and how the three of them even talk playfully about it and Mrs Dashwood and elinor tell her she should pay attention to him. This is nowhere in the book. Marianne doesn't show interest in Colonel Brandon until she learns about Eliza's story. She is also really annoyed about all the gossip in Barton Park about them. Also Colonel Brandon is much more reserved towards Marianne in the book than in the series. More like Alan Rickman.

      They also present the mother as worried about the fact that Marianne and Willoughby haven't told them if they are engaged, whereas Elinor says it is kind of obvious they are. In the novel is completely the other way around. Elinor is so uptight and worried about it while the mother is relaxed and convinced they are.

      They also, very clearly, make Edward much lighter and funny and Elinor less strict. On the other hand they don't fall into the extremes ET here and there wrote for Marianne in her script. I always thought that ET just loved Elinor so much that she wanted to make sure that everyone would love her much more than Marianne as well, giving her some lines that made her look more selfish and odious than she really is in the novel. In any case, Kate Winslet will always be for me, the best Marianne. And since I saw her back in 1996 KW has been my favourite actress.

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    4. And Marianne doesn't go all across a room full of people and shout "Willoughby!" in the novel... I hated that in the 1995 film and I can't understand why they kept it in the 2008 as well... seriously.

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  17. I love the '95 Ang Lee-Emma Thompson version and have always thought it excelled in every way. However, I find that I have had to revise my oppinion slightly, as I favor Dan Stevens' Edward to Hugh Grant's. I think his (DS') Edward more present and believable, and I suppose more real. Not that I had a problem with Grant's version before, it's just now that I have seen Stevens', I find his interpretation is better.
    /SHS

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    1. Hi SHS. I am really fond of both versions at this point. I hope we get a new version of each Austen novel at least every 10 years. Each generation has to have their own version right?

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  18. I love the 1995 version...just watched it again today for the umpteenth time and still teared up at the end and sighed "what a great movie". Beautiful!

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    1. Hi LilyGarden. I love the quote by Ang Lee. He wanted to "break people's hearts so badly that they'll still be recovering from it two months later"

      Well, it is coming up to 20 years and we are still reeling!

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  19. You really made me think...and now, I conclude that for me it's undecided! I really love them both...I like 1995 for beauty, and 2008 for depth. Just one thing...David Morrisey made me fall in love with on screen Colonel Brandon for the first time. Alan Rickman never did... ;-)

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    1. Hi LifeAsMom. I think it is Alan Rickman's voice that gets me more than anything. Especially in that scene near the end where he is reading a poem to Marianne in front of the cottage. Mmmm. However, I will pay extra attention to David Morrisey next time I watch the 2008 version. You have now made me want to see it again!

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    2. I just recently saw the 2008 version again and connected who David Morrisay was. He played the govener on The Walking dead. Lol. I can't see him the same light. I wanted so hard to like him but I just could not. then I watched him in the new season of The walking Dead I could not hate him.

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  20. 1995 is a masterpiece. The music fits perfectly, whereas 2008's music is too harsh. 1995 version reminds me of the music in "A Room With A View". The acting is just superior by everyone in 1995....they portray all the peculiarities of each character to perfection. I must have seen 1995 version at least 50 times. I prefer the High Grant Edward because he is soooo awkward and stiff mannered, LOL. Also 1995 Willoughby is perfectly cast....

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    1. And don't forget Alan Rickman. He has such a small part in the movie but made such a huge impression. He will always be Colonel Brandon to me.

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    2. Yes, I prefer Alan Rickman. I wish all the actors from 1995 were in the 2008 movie :-).

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  21. In my opinion 1995 is the better movie and I very much love it - but 2008 tells the Austen story better. The very core of this novel is the relationship between Marianne and Eleanor, of two sisters. In the 1995 version the age difference between the actors is obviously so big (ET is more than 15 years KWs senior) and Eleanor so much more mature than Marianne that they seem more like mother/daughter or rather aunt/nice than sisters. In the 2008 version they are two sisters - one more earnest, the other more emotional - but still both are on the same level. Having close sisters myself I love this about the new version.

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    1. Hello Anon! It is great that we have two wonderful choices for adaptations of this amazing book. Emma Thompson and Andrew Davies gave us their best in each case. Bravo!

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  22. I saw both versions again lately (hence the net search).

    Loved 1995 first time but couldn't really watch it again. Part of this is the persona of the actors, the big ticket names, especially if you think of Hugh Grant or Kate Winslet. Or even the Ang Lee method of film making, the Oscar bait kind of thing.

    Liked 2008 first time, liked it even more the second. And no doubt will watch it again.

    And came to the conclusion that film and TV are very different. Film requires the extra pretty actors, the stand out moments, the top notch actors. Its great spectacle.

    But TV allows you the leisure of trying to follow the book for the most part. The actors look good but not movie star good, the acting is solid but not the kind meant for repeated giffing on tumblr by fan girls! All this makes it seem far more real and involving - despite cottages by the sea! I find myself drawn in much more by lengthy TV versions. So yes 2008 for me.

    I think I look at them separately. I might go to watch the movie at the theatres but for repeated viewing I seem to prefer the TV versions of all Austen adaptations.

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    1. Hello Anon!

      What a thoughtful analysis of the two versions. Bravo! Now you make me want to see the 2008 version again, which I appreciate more every time I see it.The one thing that keeps taking me back to the 1995 version again and again is the music. Mmmmmm. OK, that and the gorgeous cinematography.
      LOL about the tumblr fan girls! :)

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    2. Thanks Jenny. The best repeat experience of course is reading the book :-)

      Tumblr fan girls can be quite hilarious!

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  23. Keeping the comparisons between TV and big screen aside, I believe one cannot deny the fact that the film version of Sense and Sensibility had great cast as well. Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman are theater actors and I really don't need to remark anything about their acting skills. However, coming back to the question, I'd say the 1995 version is much better than the 2008 in many aspects. I believe the 2008 series relied too much on "sexualizing" the novel in order to win the ratings race. Playing on the emotions of purists may be? Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon is unforgettable but this new one looked a bit "sissy." Greg Wise was a charmer as Willoughby but sadly Mr. Cooper lacked this main characteristic.

    Of course, the newer version depicted the story in a more meticulous manner given its longer duration but still it couldn't capture the soul of the novel like the 2 hour version did.

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    1. I agree completely about. Col. Brandon and Willoughby. 2008 Brandon was far too old (although the 95 one was as well, but 2008 Brandon it's also on The Walking Dead), and 2008 Willoughby was just...dorky looking.

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  24. Hmmm... I used to love the '95 version. I LOVED it and when I heard there was a new version I immediately dismissed it as "a bad remake of perfection". Because before it came out I couldn't see how ET's version could possibly be improved. But when I finally did get around to watching 2008 S&S I actually did like it better. I thought Hattie Morahan was outstanding as Elinor and so was Charity Wakefield in her role as Marianne. Not that I disliked either Kate Winslet or Emma Thompson in the first film. I love them both! But they seemed more age appropriate and sisterly in the 2008 version. Then we get to the men: I honestly didn't like either Willoughby much. 95's wasn't memorable and '08 looked and seemed too untrustworthy from the start. I had a hard time seeing him as dashing, even when you were supposed to think so. It's a draw for the colonel. I would say Alan Rickman--I love his acting--but he just seemed a tad old. The 08's Brandon wasn't all that memorable though. Edward Ferrars was hands down Dan Stevens for me. I didn't dislike 95's Edward at all...I just liked DS more in the role. I liked 2008 Margaret a lot but she wasn't that much like the book. She was basically dismissed by Austen as having (I'm paraphrasing here) "Marianne's romance without much of her sense and was not well headed now to equal her sisters at a more advanced age" or something like that. Mrs. Dashwood was equal for me. I liked the addition of Henry Dashwood, the other Miss Steele and Lady Middleton. Overall, I prefer the 2008 rendition but still love ET's movie.

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  25. While I've enjoyed the 1995 version, I always thought Emma Thompson was too old for the part of Elinor, and Hugh Grant, as someone said earlier, a bit too "stiff." And although I love Alan Rickman in other movies, I could not warm up to him as Col. Brandon. In addition, I also enjoy versions of Jane Austen's books that are true to the book's dialogue (A&E's version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth is my all time favorite). I have only just seen the first installment of the 2008 version and like it better already.

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  26. I have recently seen both versions again, and I have to say.....Emma Thompson is a genius, as is Ang Lee. The script was amazing, she did a marvelous job of compacting the novel into a film format. The scene in which she is begging Marianne to live was so moving.....also, Alan Rickman is one of my favourite actors, and Hugh Laurie was as inspired bit of casting as there ever was. But, (deep breath!) Andrew Davies did a brilliant job, and the biggest problem I had with the 1995 production was Hugh Grant - I'm just not a fan. I thought the 1995 version also sported the superior Willoughby and I loved Fanny and Mrs.What's-Her-Name mother in law....she was brilliant ("Does she like olives?). There are many many things I LOVED about the 1995 production, but in the end I have go agree with the 2008 camp. Preferred Hattie Moran, much preferred Edward, appreciated the more accurate story-line and not- cut-out characters (Lucy 's sister was absolutely comic gold) and both the Colonel and Edward were great. Marianne was also very well played, KW shoes were hard to fill, but she did it!! We really are very lucky to have two such brilliant versions, I loved the scenes in which Edward catches Elinor beating carpets in frustration, then in turn discoveries him chopping wood just as frustrated, absolutely brilliant.....

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  27. Huge Jane Austen fan here, wondering if any one knows what the name of the item, Mary Ann uses when she is drawing Willoughby? This item is some kind of frame on a stand, with tracing paper within the frame and wire that forms a grid, spread 2 or so inches apart across, up and down. She is drawing a silhouette. These devises must have had a name. I can't find them anywhere on the internet. A candle was used to cast his shadowed against the the paper. Any help would be appreciated. Sincerely and always a Jane Austen fan, Misty

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    1. Hi Misty! Thanks for the comment.

      I found a reference to a machine called a physiognotrace. The link is here: http://projectionsystems.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/physiognotrace/

      Hope it helps!

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    2. Thank you. I am going to have one of these silhouette frames made, just like Mary Ann. I am always looking at antique shops to bring the Dashwoods look into my home. I encourage all to do the same, it's great fun, Sincerely, Misty

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  28. Hi! I'm 14 years old and somehow I have always preferred the older, original versions of films or series like Sense and Sensibility (or Pride and Prejudice). I think it is mostly down to the actors and their pure brilliance though in S & S (and did you notice that 6 actors from the 1995 version were in the Harry Potter films!) I also have to put a word in for Alan Rickman because he is absolutely amazing in S & S and without him it just doesn't seem right ;)

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  29. Hi! I have only seen the newer version of S&S so I can't really comment on which is better, but I have to agree with anonymoun 14-year-old about Pride and Prejudice. The older version is way better.
    (Can't help but add that I'm also 14 =D)

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  30. Alan Rickman whispering "the air...is full of spices"
    Oh man. Gets me weak at the knees. Refuse to watch the later version because the original is genuis!

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  31. What I liked about the 1995 version:

    - Alan Rickman. I agree with all commenters about his brilliance in the Brandon role. The other guy in the 2008 version did not capture the role as well.

    - Hugh Laurie. He was the comic gold in this version. The other guy in the 2008 version was a disappointment. It seemed like he was just "standing in" for the part.

    - Mrs. Jennings. She was a perfectly played crazy, silly, prying busy body in the 1995 version, and just touched upon these qualities in the 2008 version.

    What I liked about the 2008 version:

    - Hattie Morahan as Elinor. Sorry to go against Emma Thompson fans, but every time I view the 2008 version, I feel uncomfortable watching her. I'm not sure if I just don't dig Emma Thompson in general, or if I didn't click with her in that role specifically. She seemed too old for the part, and I couldn't help but picture Nanny McPhee over and over. However, Hattie Morahan as Elinor was superb. I kept thinking after every line she delivered, "Perfect, just perfect!" The scene with Edward at the end: Emma Thompson's outburst is awkward, but Hattie Morahan's tears feel genuine, and drew me in to the lines that followed.

    - Dan Stevens as Edward. Hugh Grant did a great job of expressing the humility, reservation, and sweetness of that character, but Dan Stevens just added other qualities to it. Maybe it's because I loved him in Downton Abbey, but he played the part perfectly.

    - Mrs. Dashwood in the 2008 version is better than the 1995 version. The 1995 lady simply exudes a bleak and dreary attitude for the loss of her husband, but the 2008 lady expresses much more in her demeanor: a lady of high standing who has lost her estate, and is struggling to maintain high spirits, as well as her identity.

    Things that are equal in both versions:

    - The Mariannes. I am almost leaning toward Charity Wakefield just for overall performance, because she has a natural sweetness and innocence that is perfect for the character. But, Kate Winslet, I think, expresses the emotional, "sensibility" theme of the story. As with some of the Emma Thompson scenes that I felt were awkward in the 1995 version, some of the Kate Winslet scenes were also awkward, like where Willoughby was spinning her around and she was shrieking and giggling a bit too much. That may have been more of a directing flaw, rather than an acting flaw. So overall, the Marianne character is is a draw for me.

    - Both Margarets were well-played by both girls. However, the stuff about the atlas that created a theme in the 1995 version was really fun. I liked both of the actresses, though.

    - Both Willoughbys were well-done. The 2008 version has more character development because of added scene between Elinor and Willoughby, which also gave more resolution for Marianne, which I appreciated. However, the 1995 Willoughby was more dashing, as he should be, whereas the 2008 guy seemed a little pug-faced.

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  32. I think ET's version captured the heart of the story so it really may be my favorite. The other version had a lot to like about it as well. Because of the longer length, there was just more time for add scenes from the book like having both Steele sisters. The best addition however was Dan Stevens. He really nailed Edward in a way that Hugh Grant couldn't manage.

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