"It was the first film that I had done with Ang that was all in English, and it's Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, and Hugh Grant — these great, great actors. When you get footage like that, you realise that your job is really not technical. It was my job to look at something that Emma Thompson had done and say, 'Eh, that's not good, I'll use this other one instead.' And not only was I allowed to pass judgment on these tremendous actors, I was required to."
What gives "Sense and Sensibility" its tension and mystery is that the characters rarely say what they mean. There is great gossip within the women's sphere, but with men, the conversation loops back upon itself in excruciating euphemisms, leaving the women to puzzle for weeks over what was or was not said.
Unlike most of the usual rolling hills, costume period drama, Merchant-Ivory type, century-old novel movies, Sense and Sensibility succeeds quite handily.
A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.
With the draft screenplay, Doran pitched the idea to various studios in order to finance the film, but found that many were wary of the beginner Thompson as the screenwriter. She was considered a risk, as her experience was as an actress who had never written a film script. Columbia Pictures executive Amy Pascal supported Thompson's work, and agreed to sign as the producer and distributor.
As the story opens, the Dashwood estate passes to a stingy male heir, who provides only a few hundred pounds a year to his father's second wife and her three daughters. The widow Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her girls find themselves torn from the life of country gentry and forced to live on this meager income in a cottage generously supplied by a distant relative.
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"In some ways I probably know that nineteenth century world better than English people today, because I grew up with one foot still in that feudal society. Of course, the dry sense of humour, the sense of decorum, the social code is different. But the essence of social repression against free will – I grew up with that."
In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.
The sensibility may be a bit off, but there is more than enough sense involved in this mid-Atlantic Austen to make up the difference.
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Yet the film is not told as tightly or as well as "Persuasion," the wonderful Austen adaptation released earlier in 1995. Austen was not yet a great novelist when she wrote this story, and there is too much contrivance in the way she dispatches her men to London when she is done with them. Edward is off-screen so long that instead of growing concerned about his absence, we forget him.
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A stylish, witty and substantial adaptation of Jane Austen's novel.
A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.
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We need no further proof that this material is ageless.
The first man in view is Edward (Hugh Grant), the brother-in-law of the stingy Dashwood son. He is charming, and definitely interested in Elinor, but as Marianne observes, "there is something wanting." Exactly what is wanting is explained later in the film, when we discover why Edward is prevented from declaring the full extent of his love.
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Thompson's script manages the neat trick of preserving the necessary niceties and decorum of civilized behavior of the time while still cutting to the dramatic quick.
Widow Dashwood and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, inherit only a tiny allowance. So they move out of their grand Sussex home to a more modest cottage in ... See full summary »
Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy), a cousin of the widowed Mrs. Dashwood, offers her a small cottage house on his estate, Barton Park in Devonshire. She and her daughters move in, and are frequent guests at Barton Park. The Dashwoods meet the older Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), who falls in love with Marianne at first sight. However, Marianne barely acknowledges him although he is carried in the highest regard and shows only kindness towards her and her family.
Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart.
A lush and witty telling of Jane Austen's novel.
Tim Squyres edited the film, his fourth collaboration with Ang Lee. He reflected in 2013 about the editing process,
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The production suffers from comparison with "Persuasion" because the earlier film looked simpler and more authentic, and this one seems a little too idealized; we want notepaper, not picture postcards. "Sense and Sensibility" is entertaining and amusing, but "Persuasion" is the one true Jane Austen lovers will prefer.
I can't say I remembered this 1995 feature too clearly a couple of days later; but I certainly had a good time as I watched it.
Sense And Sensibility (1995)
It gets me every time, even if it is perhaps marred by the moment when Elinor finally turns and smiles a too-radiant, too-cheesy, love-has-triumphed, tearful smile. The subsequent wedding scene is saved by the frozen image of the coins thrown up by the happy groom to be eagerly caught by the well-wishing crowd: from first to last, it was all about the cash.
Thompson and Winslet give fine performances ably supported by the rest of the ensemble.
Because Thompson and Doran had worked on the screenplay for so long, Lee described himself at the time as a "director for hire", as he was unsure of his role and position. He spent six months in England "learn[ing] how to make this movie, how to do a period film, culturally ... and how to adapt to the major league film industry."
A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.
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From the beginning, Doran wanted Sense and Sensibility to appeal to both a core audience of Austen aficionados as well as younger viewers attracted to romantic comedy films. She felt that Lee's involvement prevented the film from becoming "just some little English movie" that appealed only to local audiences instead of to the wider world. 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 realised 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."
A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.