Sense & Sensibility

Lose your heart and come to your senses
Lose your heart and come to your senses
D: Ang Lee
Columbia/Mirage (Lindsay Doran)
US/UK 1995
136 mins


W: Emma Thompson [based on the novel by Jane Austen]
DP: Michael Coulter
Ed: Tim Squyres
Mus: Patrick Doyle
PD: Luciana Arrighi
Cos: Jenny Beavan & John Bright

Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood), Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood), Alan Rickman (Colonel Brandon), Hugh Grant (Edward Ferrars), James Fleet (John Dashwood), Harriet Walter (Fanny Dashwood), Elizabeth Spriggs (Mrs. Jennings), Hugh Laurie (Mr. Palmer), Imelda Staunton (Charlotte Palmer), Imogen Stubbs (Lucy Steele)

The secret of a good period drama is that it should be able to appeal to those who don't necessarily enjoy costume dramas. However, Emma Thompson cast this logic aside when she adapted Jane Austen's literary classic, doubling the age of the main character, Elinor Dashwood, so she could take on the role herself, and it's in that respect, where she succeeds. As a matter of fact, all the performances are excellent, particularly Kate Winslet as younger, more reckless sister Marianne. It's the story itself which is a little too twee and not appealing to those who aren't aficionados of costume drama.
The three Dashwood sisters are left poor by the rules of inheritance following their father's death, and hope to find rich, noble suitors to make matches with and save themselves from poverty.
Relatively conflict-free, there's many cups of tea, tinkling of the piano keys and virtuous, meaningless dialogue.
Harsh, but costume dramas are something you either connect to or don't. I can't deny that it's a fine production of a classic story, but with all the horses and silly hats, I thought I'd tuned in to Royal Ascot.

Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet in Sense & Sensibility
Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet in Sense & Sensibility