Sense and Sensibility Sense and Sensibility discussion


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Sense and Sensibility on film

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Andres I'm reading my way through all of Jane Austen's novels, pausing in between them to watch all available movie adaptations. Only Pride and Prejudice had a similar thread, so I'll start this one for S&S. I just finished watching almost 20 hours of P&P so my recollection of the S&S adaptations are a little fuzzy, but here I go!

1981: This BBC version was low in budget but that doesn't really work against it (like it does the P&P version). It gets the story across well enough and it's entertaining in its own right even if it is a little dry. The Elinor character was a little too meek for me but otherwise it's a fine version of the story.

1995: This movie version with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant does cut out some characters and events (it is shorter than the 3 hours of the other two adaptations after all), but it's a really fun and humorous version that does the novel well.

2008: This newer BBC version is like the older one but with better productions values. It is sexed up a just a tiny bit with the seduction of one character actually shown rather than just mentioned, and the whole visiting-the-empty-mansion-with-Willoughby-but-without-a-chaperone scene is 'adult-ified', if you will. Still, a good rendering.

If I had to rank them from best to less best (since none is actually that bad) I'd put the movie version first, the 2008 version next, and the 1981 version last.


Robin I own the 1995 version, and thought it was well-done. I haven't finished reading the book, so I don't know what characters were 'cut out".


Patty Apostolides I think the 1995 version was very well written, with some very witty dialogue and interesting characters. I believe Emma Thompson wrote that version and I think she did a wonderful job. I haven't seen the other versions.


Sarah I just watched the 1995 version this afternoon! It is so well done that I didn't mind the missing characters. The casting was great.


Nura I'd go defiantly with the BBC 2008 version, I thought it was well done. Charity Wakefield who played Marianne and Dominic Cooper who played Willoughby were so much like the character in the book, they did a wonderful job.

As for the 1995 with Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, I loved its humor and the cast were great :)


Tuuli I have seen the 1995 and 2008 versions and I have to admit that the older was better. In my opinion the 2008 version was a bit too modernised (if that's even a word :D) And, in addition, 1995 version has Kate Winslet!


Madeline Sloane I go with the 1995 version, and agree that Emma is awesome. Hugh Grant, however, was the weak link in the film for me. I couldn't buy him as a stuttering, meek rehash of the Englishman Who Went Up a Hill... Switching topics, but staying with Emma, catch her with bad-boy ex-husband Kenneth Brannagh in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing.' Now that's a fun, fine movie, Hey Nonny.


Hope I love both films. However I thought that Kate and Emma were a little to old to be playing Elinor and Marianne. The 1995 version surpasses the 2008 version for one reason... Alan Rickman!


Sarah Was Alan Rickman the one who played Colonel Brandon? (I love Colonel Brandon!)


message 10: by Elia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elia Sarah wrote: "Was Alan Rickman the one who played Colonel Brandon? (I love Colonel Brandon!)"

YES! I may be all alone out on my limb here, but I happen to have a huge crush on Alan Rickman. Don't ask me why! LOL! I really enjoyed the Thompson/Grant/Winslet/Rickman version. It's one of my favorite movies ever.


message 11: by Hope (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hope I have loved Alan Rickman forever! I think it is his voice that I love the most. I would be content just to listen to him read the phone book.


Sarah Haha! I have friends who say that his voice weirds them out, but I have to agree with you... I like it!


message 13: by Elia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elia I don't know if either Hope or Sarah, you watch family guy, but they had an episode once when they made fun of his voice. He kept calling himself and leaving himself looooong pointless answering machine messages. It was hilarious!


Sarah I almost wish I had seen the episode just for that one part!!! That's really funny... it's a good idea, too... *smiling*

Although, they made fun of his voice?! *sob*


message 15: by Elia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elia More like they made fun on how he speaks... very slowly and deliberately. :D


Sarah WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW I LIKE IT!!! ;D


message 17: by Maria (last edited Nov 02, 2011 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maria 1995 version hands down: the scenary, the dialogues and Emma Thompson that i really admire made it irresistible. nevertheless i found Hugh Grant to be a very indecisive "Casanova".

Still, this is a rare case in which i liked the movie better than the book: i read it and think i didn´t finish it.


Taryn I love the 1995 version, but I must admit I have not seen the other two so I only have the book as a comparison. I believe it stands up well against the book (minus some unnecessary side characters), and the dialogue is witty and wonderful.

I actually like that Emma and Kate are a little too old for the parts because it translates to modernity a little better...Elinor is close to being an old-maid in respect to that era, so Emma is a visualization of that for us modern types. It's hard to see a 19 year old girl as an old maid for us in the 21st century!

I concur with you others that Alan Rickman was a FANTASTIC Colonel Brandon (he makes me unsure of my infatuation with Mr. Darcy...I might prefer Alan's Brandon!)! And I think the casting was great all around (Including the sarcastic, dry-witted Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer...chuckles all around).

I am such an Elinor, and my sister is totally Marianne...and I am the older sister and she the younger. Ms. Austen knew what she was talking about!


Reading Faerie I loved the 1995 version of S&S. I think that Alan Rickman makes the best Brandon. I love his voice. :)


message 20: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara I loved the sexy, sexy ITV 2008 version... :3
But I also liked the 95 vintage. And yeah, loved that Alan Rickman Colonel Brandon and Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer.:)
I'm not sure if I remember the 81 or if I'm mixing it up w/another old Austen adaptation so I can't comment on it. :\


Escada I watched From Prada to Nada movie which is a Latina spin on Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," where two spoiled sisters who have been left penniless after their father's sudden death are forced to move in with their estranged aunt in East Los Angeles.It was so interesting movie.


message 22: by Sara (last edited Nov 27, 2011 09:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Awesome~ Didn't know about that one. I'll have to check it out. You've just reminded me about the Bollywood version, I Have Found It. No one's mentioned that, yet, either. I think it was good, but I saw it quite a while ago.
The Jane Austen Society of North America has the movies (and books) listed and points out that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was called "Sense and Sensibility with Martial Arts" by its director Ang Lee. And now I see why I kind of liked Willoughby in the book and liked the ITV adaptation the best. (because I've seen CTHD soo many times and loved Lo since girlhood. lol. my subconscious must've made the connection.. >.>;)


Robin Never heard about From Prada to Nada, will check that out too. Never thought Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had anything to do with Sense and Sensibility, but Ang Lee did direct the one with Emma Thompson's S and S.


message 24: by Hope (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hope Gzl wrote: "I watched From Prada to Nada movie which is a Latina spin on Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," where two spoiled sisters who have been left penniless after their father's sudden death are forc..."

I LOVED I Have Found It. I own it on DVD and watch it almost as much as the 1995 version.


Escada I watched 95 , and it's wonderful. I like it more than From Prada to Nada,


Jayne-Marie Barker I absolutely love the version with Hugh Grant in; think it was an ITV production. This is unusual for me as I tend towards the BBC productions as a general rule (they keep to the text with more accuracy). Can't beat the novel though.


Joanne Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for the film version she starred in and won the Academy Award for it. She was too old for the role she played but Kate Winslet would have been around 20 at the time. Maybe she was a little older than Marianne but not too much.


message 28: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin W No, the Hugh Grant version was a theatrical release. It may have aired on ITV later.

I think Thompson did an amazing job adapting the script. She trimmed the fat (like anybody misses Lucy's sister!) but she managed to keep all the relevant information. She takes out that whole scene where Willoughby throws himself around all dramatically while Marianne is sick, for example, but we still learn how much he loved her from that single shot at the end of the movie, the look on his face when he's on the hillside looking down on her leaving the church. One thing movies can do that books can't is tell stories with faces.


Jayne-Marie Barker Erin wrote: "No, the Hugh Grant version was a theatrical release. It may have aired on ITV later.

I think Thompson did an amazing job adapting the script. She trimmed the fat (like anybody misses Lucy's sister..."


Yes, I agree, it's one of the advantages for the visual story. Thanks for correcting me, I must have seen it on ITV afterwards. I've got the DVD now so haven't paid much attention the DVD case itself! Happy New Year


Jayne-Marie Barker Joanne wrote: "Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for the film version she starred in and won the Academy Award for it. She was too old for the role she played but Kate Winslet would have been around 20 at the ti..."

I agree, possibly Kate could have played the part well. There's bound to be another attempt sooner or later, we'll see who gets the part next time around! Happy New Year


Annie Emma was far too old to play Elinor. Elinor is supposed to be 19 and Emma Thompson was in her 30's. I saw the 1995 version before I read the book and was perplexed when she started crying at the end. She and Hugh Grant had no chemistry.


Isabel I think both the 1995 and 2008 versions were great, the 2008 being more acurate, they are both well acted in my opinion. The 1981 one in my opinion is not very good at all. As all JA films before 1995 P&P, it seems just like they have recorded a stage production! - there isn't much feeling or subtleties in it.


Joanne The worst version of P&P is the one starring Sir Laurence Olivier. As I recall, only their names are the same as the book.


Robin @Annie, I think the reason why she cried at the end, she was one of the stoic characters before Marianne got involved with Willoughby, so the tables were turned and Elinor was the one who had great emotion. That is my take on the scene, anyway, for what its worth.


Annie Robin wrote: "@Annie, I think the reason why she cried at the end, she was one of the stoic characters before Marianne got involved with Willoughby, so the tables were turned and Elinor was the one who had great..."

after reading the book I understood why she cried, but in the movie I didn't see or feel the connection.


Robin I just finished the book a few months ago. Why did she cry?


message 37: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin W She was overwhelmed with having internalized her emotions for long. It's a moment of relief for Elinor, and also for us as readers.


Gretchen Elia wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Was Alan Rickman the one who played Colonel Brandon? (I love Colonel Brandon!)"

YES! I may be all alone out on my limb here, but I happen to have a huge crush on Alan Rickman. Don'..."


No I loved him in that role. So romantic and genuine. It is why I knew Snape could not be all bad, lol. Could never hate him with Rickman in the role.

P.S Did you know in real life Emma married the actor who played Willoughby. Plus I really think that was Kate's break out performance, long before everyone knew her from Titanic.


Robin I figured the scene had something to do with her being the practical one in the bunch, I did notice there was no chemistry between Elinor and Hugh Grant's character.


Marietta Elia wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Was Alan Rickman the one who played Colonel Brandon? (I love Colonel Brandon!)"

YES! I may be all alone out on my limb here, but I happen to have a huge crush on Alan Rickman. Don'..."


The 1995 version that Emma Thompson did gets my vote also! I also loved Alan Rickman AND I love Hugh Grant. He's famous for his studdering anyway... But I loved it so much that I bought it and played it over and over so I could watch (view spoiler)
I thought the BBC version paled in comparison to Rickman, Willoughby, Emma's characters! Plus the movies not as funny.

I have to confess, I can't compare the book to movie as I read it too long ago. I'm only comparing movies here.


Valerie '95 had Alan Rickman so it wins.


message 42: by Anne (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anne I think that the 1995 version and the 2008 version (which BTW are the only two I've seen) are tied. I'm going to rank them according to character.

Elinor: I loved both Emma Thompson as well as the girl who played in the BBC 2008 one. They both did a great job.

Marianne: I liked both actresses, but Marianne is not one of my fave characters so they are just okay.

Edward: Couldn't stand Hugh Grant in the 1995 version. He looked like he was scared of his own shadow. I get that he was reserved, but gee whiz! I liked the guy in the 2008 version better.

Colonel Brandon: Didn't really like either of them.

Willoughby: Sorry, I have to add the bad guy. He is an important part of the story. Loved Greg Wise in the 1995 version. He did a great job.(Plus I've always thought he was cute.) The guy in the 2008 version was horrible in comparison. I didn't like him at all. He wasn't even good looking, no offense to the guy. (Oh, FYI if any of you have watched the new Captain America with Chris Evans, I have some interesting info. The guy that plays Howard Stark is the same guy that played Willoughby in the 2008 BBC version. I loved him as Howard Stark, couldn't stand him as Willoughby.)


message 43: by Kelli (last edited May 26, 2012 10:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kelli I loved Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility. Fantastic adaption. Now when I read the book the wonderful cast is what I can see in my minds eye.


Aerykah Hope wrote: "I have loved Alan Rickman forever! I think it is his voice that I love the most. I would be content just to listen to him read the phone book."

I had to laugh when I read this! :D
I have several brothers and they absolutely LOVE to make fun of his voice. I dunno.. I kinda like it. :)
((they didn't make fun of his voice when they watched him in "Die Hard" so I think it has something to do with "S & S" :oP ))


Aerykah I've only seen the 1995 version. Loved it too! :o)
Well, except for Edward... I never did like him very much.


Andres A new take on the novel recently aired on TV called "Scents and Sensibility" (not sure if it was ever in the theaters or just went straight to cable/DVD). I recorded it but haven't been able to bring myself to watch it---I saw a bit of it and was instantly irritated with one of the sisters, not sure which one. I'm just wondering if anyone else saw this and what they thought of it.

Just to note, I also have "From Prada to Nada" recorded but also haven't been able to bring myself to watch it. I'm tempted to say that I can't stand modern takes on this book but I'm actually looking forward to seeing "I Have Found It" (the Kollywood version). I guess I can't stand what look like awful cutesy modern versions.

Can anyone enlighten me?


Marcia "I am iss-u-ing an invitation...a picnic!"
Colonol Brandon rocks. The characters were impeccable in the 1995 movie version of Sense & Sensibility. Still my favourite adaptation to date.

Does anyone else find it kinda odd that Emma Thompson (Elinor) married Greg Wise (Willoughby)?

Also, Hugh Grant's acting skills (look shy and blink multiple times) translates best in this movie. Even better than Notting Hill, in my opinion.

And of course, the wonderful side character of Hugh Laurie as dry Mr. Palmer. Love love love.


Robin I think Hugh Grant was perfect for the role. He has used the look shy and blink several times in other roles and they don't translate. Never saw Nottinghill so can't compare. Did see Three weddings and a funeral and he was good in that as well. Didn't phase me in the least that Elinor married Willoughby, did she? All the main characters were perfectly cast.


message 49: by Nae (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nae Ayson Madeline wrote: "I go with the 1995 version, and agree that Emma is awesome. Hugh Grant, however, was the weak link in the film for me. I couldn't buy him as a stuttering, meek rehash of the Englishman Who Went Up ..."

Saw Kenneth Branagh's name and immediately thought of Hamlet. I found his portrayal a bit... off.


message 50: by Jeni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeni Absolutely thought Emma Thompson's version was brilliant. Every person perfectly cast and the adaptation was trim and beautiful.

Love it.


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