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Sense and Sensibility (1995)/director Ang Lee

My comment that Jane Austen is better enjoyed by film than book were tested by this 1995 film directed by the esteemed Korean director Ang  Lee.

It had a strong cast of Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton, Elizabeth Spriggs, Robert Hardy, Harriet Walter, Tom Wilkinson, Alan Rickman, Imogen Stubbs and Hugh Laurie.

Most of these became big stars so it was interesting to see them in their early 30s.

It was a costume drama popular in the mid 90s but sex, nudity, and diversity in such programmes like Bridgerton rendered it dated.

So did the story line of the Dashwood girls, the eldest Elinor (Emma Thompson) being the Sense and the flightier impulsive younger one Marianne (Kate Winslet) the Sensibility.

Marriage – and proposals of it – play an important role.

Marianne’s  suitor Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) wins her hand not the blackguard Edward Ferrers (Hugh Grant).

Not for the first time in a stellar cast Alan Rickman, who attended Latymer Upper  school – as did Hugh Grant – steals the show.

Was it more accessible than the book?

Frankly no. At two hours and a half – it was hard going.

Floppy-haired Hugh Grant looked foppish but 18 years on was more than assured in Paddington and as Jeremy Thorpe.

It was yet another slow-paced costume drama with handsome young men and lush English countryside. Even the story did not improve with Emma Thompson’s screenplay.

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About Melanie Gay

A former literary agent with three published novels of her own, Melanie retains her life-long love of the written word and recently mastered the Kindle. She is currently writing a historical novel set in 17th Century Britain and Holland. More Posts