Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Young Bluestockings Attend the Cinema: "Sense and Sensibility" (1995)




Welcome back to

Young Bluestockings Attend the Cinema!

Several times a year, NineteenTeen invites you to join in a discussion of a movie set during the Nineteenth Century.
Today we'll be discussing the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility!

Whether you saw the movie yesterday or years ago, please join in the discussion!


Here's a little background about the movie, to get things started:



Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first published novel, came out in 1811.

Likewise, this movie of Sense and Sensibility was the first time Emma Thompson wrote a motion picture script.  Most famous as an Oscar-winning actress (for Howard's End), Thompson (who played Elinor) got another Oscar nomination for best actress, and actually won the Oscar for best screenplay for Sense and Sensibility!  (Pretty good for your first time out, I say!)


The film was directed by Ang Lee, who was then a well-respected but still fairly new director from Taiwan. Lee has since become an Oscar-winner himself, and is up for another directing Oscar this year (for The Life of Pi.) 

With a total of seven Oscar nominations (and one win), it's the most award-winning Jane Austen movie out there!

But that's what they think.  What do YOU think?



Did you like it?

Did you find it funny, romantic, suspenseful? Boring? Confusing?

What did you think of the cast?

The costumes?

If the story was new to you, were you surprised when Marianne and Colonel Brandon ended up together?



For those of you who've seen the TV show House, did you recognize Hugh Laurie as the man behind the newspaper?    :-)

All opinions welcome!





CAST:
 Emma Thompson: Elinor Dashwood
 Kate Winslet: Marianne Dashwood
 Hugh Grant: Edward Ferrars
 Alan Rickman: Colonel Brandon
 Greg Wise:   Willoughby
 Gemma Jones: Mrs. Dashwood
 Emilie Fran├žois: Margaret Dashwood
 James Fleet: John Dashwood
 Tom Wilkinson: Mr. Dashwood
 Harriet Walter: Fanny Dashwood
 Elizabeth Spriggs: Mrs. Jennings
 Robert Hardy: Sir John Middleton
 Imelda Staunton: Charlotte Jennings Palmer 
 Hugh Laurie: Mr. Palmer
 Imogen Stubbs: Lucy Steele


12 comments:

ChaChaneen said...

Greetings, it's been a long time and its a joy to visit you Ladies again!

Did you like it? YES I LURVED THIS FILM ADAPTION

Did you find it funny, romantic, suspenseful? Boring? Confusing? I FOUND IT BOTH FUNNY AND ROMANTIC

What did you think of the cast? I LOVED THE CASTING WITH 2 EXCEPTIONS - I FELT THAT EMMA AND ALAN WERE TOO OLD FOR THEIR PARTS.

The costumes? LURVED IT! I DIDN'T CARE FOR THE TREE HOUSE IN THE OPENING SCENE'S AS I FELT IT WAS OVER THE TOP FOR SUCH A SMALL CHAPTER IN THE BOOK. I WONDER HOW MUCH OF THE BUDGET THAT USED.. HA HA

I OWN THIS MOVIE AND WATCH IT SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR, STILL ENJOY IT THOROUGHLY!

QNPoohBear said...

I love this movie! It was my first introduction to Jane Austen. I've seen it several times since then and still love it. I found the novel a bit hard to get in to and confusing at first and the movie really helped simplify and clarify a lot. Emma Thompson did an amazing job with the screenplay and the acting was outstanding. I especially enjoyed Kate Winslet's (then an unknown) amazing portrayal of Marianne. She was perfect. Alan Rickman was also wonderful as Col. Brandon (isn't he ALWAYS wonderful?!) I also loved little Margaret. She was a nice addition. I know she's in the novel but she doesn't have much to say. The scenery and costumes are gorgeous. The wedding at the end is so lovely. The weak link was Hugh Grant. I love his modern rom coms but didn't like his portrayal of Edward. he's too bumbling and idiotic and I can not believe Elinor could love such a man. I didn't like Dan Stevens in the version that aired on PBS a few years ago for the opposite reason.

Regina Scott said...

Hi, ChaChaneen! Welcome back. And always delightful to hear from QNPoohBear! I just wanted to chime in and say this is one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptations. The scenery, the costumes, the acting are all generally good. And I have great hope that THIS Col. Brandon will truly eclipse Willoughby in Marianne's affections. Although this Willoughby . . . le sigh. I do agree with QNPoohBear that Emma seems a tad old for her character, but I do adore her.

Cara King said...

ChaChaneen, I love it too! It's one of my favorites ever. I agree that Emma and Alan were too old for their parts, but I confess that I just don't care, because I love them so much. :-)

One thing I like in particular is how the script handled Edward. I think the book tells us why he was worthy, but doesn't really *show* him being worthy...so Emma Thompson put in stuff to make us like Edward. That kept me from wanting Elinor to get together with Brandon, the way I do when I read the book! (I know. Shocking.)

Liviania said...

I remember liking this one. Emma is a bit too old, but hey, she wrote the screenplay so she can pick a plum part for herself. I think Alan is fine though because Col. Brandon is supposed to be old. And we're used to seeing late thirties guys paired off with younger women onscreen, so exaggerating the guy's age can't hurt, I think.

Cara King said...

QNPoohBear, I totally agree with you about the character of Margaret. Austen pretty much dismisses her as not worthy of our attention, but the movie gives us a look from her point of view -- which I really like. Bad enough to lose your home when you're Marianne's age, but how about when you're a kid? It's a really different perspective, and I like it.

I admit I liked Hugh Grant, though. I think I might have thought differently if I'd known of his later image and behavior when I first saw it...but I don't really know! I liked that he embodied the shyness that Austen talked about, while also convincing us he was perceptive and kind.

Liviana, good point about Brandon! And I love the brooding touch Rickman gives him. Or maybe I just loved Alan Rickman, full stop. :-)

Cara King said...

Oh, and I also wanted to mention, for any Harry Potter fans, that there's an awful lot of actors in Sense & Sensibility who were later in Harry Potter movies!

Emma Thompson (Elinor) played Professor Trelawney;

Alan Rickman (Brandon) played Snape;

Imelda Staunton (Charlotte Palmer) played Dolores Umbridge;

Robert Hardy (Sir John Middleton) played Cornelius Fudge;

and Gemma Jones (Mrs Dashwood) played Madam Pomfrey!

Rachel said...

I love this version of the movie. I own it and watch it usually when I need something in the background while I'm crafting ;)

I think the cast is wonderful. I actually like the guy who plays Willoughby in this version compared to newest version that came out a couple of years ago. The guy in the new version was cringe-worthy.....LOL

I love the lady they have playing Aunt Fanny!

Classic and well worth it for people to pick up and watch ;)

Marissa Doyle said...

I liked this one too, though I agree Emma was a tad "mature" to be a convincing Elinor (and I did not care for her bawling fit toward the end!) But I agree that Alan Rickman was fine as the slightly older man (though it's hard to see what he'd see in Marianne), and I also rather liked Hugh Grant as Edward because he was able to show his depths. I agree with you, Cara--at least in the book, I always want Elinor to marry Col. Brandon because Edward just doesn't come across as very love-worthy.

I also think the costumes were very well done--with the older women still clinging to the fashions of their youth...the Regency equivalent of Mom jeans, I suppose! :)

Cara King said...

Rachel, I confess I've never seen a Willoughby who I was totally mad for...but I like Greg Wise fine. He's tall and handsome and can pass for a good guy or a bad guy. I never loved him the way Emma Thompson did, but given that she married him, I think that's a good thing.

For me, the newer Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, who I like in general), was just too short to be Willoughby! Yes, I know, it's a very shallow opinion...but Marianne was pretty shallow at the beginning, so I think it's pertinent. ;-)

An Historical Lady said...

I love this film. I saw it years ago, but we have the dvd and watch it every year, along with the c. 1996 version of Pride and Prejudice. We have seen all the versions, from the 1940's, the 70's, and recent, but they all pale in comparison of these versions make in the 90's, in my opinion.
We also love Emma, but like the later version with Kate Beckinsale far better than the one with Gwenyth Paltrow...
I think my favorite parts of the films are the period dances~
Mary
http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

Cara King said...

Thanks for sharing, An Historical Lady!

Do you do period dancing yourself? Just curious! (I've done English country dancing for years, but not much other period dance...)