Sense and Sensibility (1995)

s&s1

I’m a classic and an oldies type of a girl and I think it’s fitting that my first movie review be about Sense and Sensibility. The 1995 version with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, and this is the only version of S&S that I’ve ever seen or plan to see. The reasons for this are twofold.
1) It’s amazing. Emma Thompson’s brilliant screenplay, the perfect cast, the lovely music, the gorgeous scenery. I love this movie. Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet are Elinor and Marianne in my mind. I can’t picture their faces any other way.

2) I’m not interested in seeing the 2008 miniseries because of the objectionable content. I usually prefer a miniseries to a regular 2-hour film, but in the case of S&S ’08, the first scene is truly inappropriate (according to what I’ve read). Now, of course, there is always such a thing as a fast-forward button, but if there’s a perfectly good adaptation out there that doesn’t need any fast forwarding, why bother watching the one that has an iffy part? Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying the 2008 version is bad! I’m just saying I don’t have an interest in seeing it. Plus, from what I’ve read, Andrew Davies stole a lot from the 1995 movie anyway. HAHAHA!

 

Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood

Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood

 

So now that you know why I won’t watch the 2008 version, we can get down to why I truly love the 1995 version.

As I said before, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet were made for the roles of Elinor and Marianne. They even look like sisters. I know that Emma Thompson was a little old to be playing Elinor, but I thought she did an amazing job, and I don’t think she took too much liberty with the text in making Elinor 27 instead of 19. The only real problem that Elinor’s “advanced age” (haha) would create is that there would be a larger gap between Elinor and Marianne. So their closeness isn’t quite as believable as it would be if there were only 2 years’ difference in their ages. But all that aside, Emma Thompson does a lovely job of portraying Elinor’s patience, reserve and discretion. Little things (like her facial expressions, esp. that little thing she does with the corner of her mouth) really brought Elinor alive.

 

Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood

Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood

Likewise, Kate Winslet made a beautiful Marianne–exuberant, romantic, and at times frustrated with her little sister. 🙂

 

Emilie Francois Margaret Dashwood

Emilie Francois Margaret Dashwood

I love Emilie Francois’ portrayal of Margaret. She is rather dull and flat according to the book, existing only as a walking gossip column (she’s the one who tells Elinor about Willoughby cutting off Marianne’s curl, etc.). In the movie, she had a personality and flair of her own; she seemed much more real. “I like Mrs. Jennings. She talks about things. We NEVER talk about things.”

 

Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars

Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars

This is Edward. The little things he does, such as pushing the atlas under the table with the toe of his boot, lending Elinor his handkerchief, sword-fighting with Margaret on the front lawn (cutest scene ever!) just serve to make him more endearing.

And Edward’s proposal is perhaps one of the best of period drama. It describes his feelings as wonderful and I love it, but who can resist, “My heart is–and ever will be–yours”? So sweet! This part was beyond doubt better than the book (according to some commentators! LOL.)

 

Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet as Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood

Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet as Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood

Colonel Brandon, however, may very well be my favorite character in S&S. Alan Rickman acts the unlikely hero splendidly–yes, maybe he’s a little older than 35, but that’s okay. His devotion to Marianne is best expressed in that scene when she is ill at the Palmers’: “Miss Dashwood, give me an occupation or I shall run mad.” That’s a lovely scene in the movie (LOL), but my personal favorite is when he is reading to Marianne as she’s recovering. Not much happens, but it’s a lovely little vignette showing their developing romance.

 

Elizabeth Spriggs and Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Jennings and Charlotte Palmer

Elizabeth Spriggs and Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Jennings and Charlotte Palmer

And we cannot possibly forget the hilariously funny characters–the ones who don’t display sense or sensibility! Mrs. Jennings, Sir John Middleton, Charlotte Palmer and Mr. Palmer provide comic relief when it’s most needed. Who can help laughing (even through a few tears) when Mrs. Jennings offers Marianne olives after Willoughby rejects her? Charlotte Palmer is a great example of “the acorn never falls far from the tree”. 😛

 

Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer

Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer

And, of course, Mr. “If-only-you-would-stop” Palmer is humor itself. Why on earth did he marry an idiot like Charlotte? Probably her mother bribed him with olives. He seems like the kind of guy who would like olives.

 

Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant as Elinor and Edward Ferrars

Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant as Elinor and Edward Ferrars

Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet as Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood

Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet as Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood

And the wedding scene at the end… sigh. Patrick Doyle’s lovely music, Colonel Brandon’s handsome uniform (ah! regimentals!), Elinor and Edward’s obvious happiness, Marianne’s gorgeous wedding dress… second sigh. I need to watch it again.

What’s your opinion of this lovely film?

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤

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