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The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  6,020 ratings  ·  203 reviews
This engaging and beautiful book includes the complete Academy Award-winning script and Thompson's own diaries detailing the production of the film, reviewed by Stanley Kauffmann in The New Republic as "vivid, funny, and gamy"
Paperback, 283 pages
Published August 31st 2002 by Newmarket Press (first published November 1995)
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 ·  6,020 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Start your review of The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film
This reread....recent event...can't write more.

Lolly's Library
All I can say is, thank god I read this book at home because as I read Thompson's diary I was snorting so hard with laughter I would've seriously disturbed any person around me. Not that I care, but after the first ten or so funny looks, it gets awfully distracting having all those annoyed people around me and makes it hard to keep my attention on what I'm reading.

I adore Emma Thompson. Is there any way I could possibly be her when I grow up?


Oh, and reading the screenplay section, I was
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This just makes me love the movie & the actors (especially Alan Rickman) more.
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Austen lovers
For some strange reason this book has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust for ages. It wasn't until the other day when I was looking for my copy of the film Sense & Sensibility, that I remembered I had this companion book.

I have probably seen the movie well over a dozen times or more, and think it's the best film adaptation of any of Jane Austen's books (yes this even trumps the 6 hour BBC Pride & Prejudice). My bias therefore being known...

I loved every blistering, bodice ripping
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consisting of the shooting script and Emma Thompson's diaries from shooting, this book does its best to share the sheer talent and skill that led to 1995's Sense and Sensibility. A bit too brief, ultimately, but still rollickingly good fun.

Now, to watch the movie with Thompson's commentary.
Rebecca May
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
~The Foreword:

The foreword of Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay Diaries was written by Lindsay Doran, the producer of the film in question. And, much to my surprise – I generally don’t enjoy forewords – I very much liked reading what she had to say. It was vastly enjoyable, and hearing how Lindsay first struggled with reading and/or liking Jane Austen’s work made me rather pleased to have introduced myself to Jane Austen with tolerable success at the age of fourteen. Pride and Prejudice
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Is there enough money and time allotted for a big opening scene to illustrate Mr. Henry Dashwood receiving a fatal hunting wound? How can Colonel Brandon's character be made more three dimensional and effective when he is “quite shadowy” and “absent for long periods” in the novel? Should Willoughby's anguished confession to Elinor be included, or will it “interfere with Brandon's love story?” How can we achieve the perfect balance romance and satire in this film?

These are just several of the
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility remains one of my most cherished interpretations of a Jane Austen novel. Everything about this film project seems to be touched with gold; from the award winning screenplay by actress Emma Thompson; to the incredible depth of British acting talent: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Gemma Jones, Harriet Walter, Greg Wise, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson; stunning film locations in Devonshire; and the fine brush-work of the Taiwanese ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
An excellent read for cinema geeks like me. I admire actors who can work completely out of sequence, and somehow create a coherent character that behaves believably in each scene and make the whole thing mesh together. Reading this book drew me into the creative process, and made me feel as if I were sitting wide-eyed in a corner taking it all in. It felt a bit odd to be drawn back into some of the more sensational events of 1995 (John Major, Liz Hurley/Hugh Grant media storm, etc) while ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Austen Fans, Film Afficienadoes
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kandice's Gift
This is the shooting script by Emma Thompson for the Ang Lee film of Sense and Sensibility as well as her diaries recounting the making of the film. Five stars for "amazing" as Goodreads would have it? For me yes. Of course, it helps if you are 1) A Jane Austen fan check 2) A fan of this film adaptation of her novel. check 3) Interested in the process of writing and film-making. check.

I am decidedly a Jane Austen fan. I don't just own all her novels, some I have in multiple editions. I've read
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Emma Thompson has been at the top of my fantasy dinner party list for ages. Reading this was like reading Dorothy L. Sayer's letters (another wonderfully talented snarky writer).

I'm enormously entertained to find out more of the thinking behind the works that I've enjoyed, of course. And of course it serves the basic purpose of making me wanting to go experience their works again directly.

But mostly I get resentful that I can't actually break through the boundaries of time and space and start
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Taught this with Austen a few times--I think less than half the novel, though well acted and conceived. At least it may be more than the average for Shakepseare films, Branagh's films no less--around 40% or less (MAAN, 37% of Sh's text).
Narrative Muse
– Emma Thompson in The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries –

If you’d asked me a year ago if Emma Thompson could do anything else in her life to compel me to love her any more than I already do, I’d have spit out my tea and laughed at you. But she has.

An oldie-but-goodie film staple for Janeites everywhere, Sense and Sensibility (Columbia Pictures’ 1995) was masterfully directed by Ang Lee, with an Oscar-winning and Golden Globe-winning screenplay penned by Thompson herself. If you
Caitlin M
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

The introduction by Lindsey Doran, who wanted to make the film, tapped Emma Thompson to write the screenplay, and produced it, and the screenplay itself, merit four stars, but I have to add more and round up for Thompson's delightful blow-by-blow of the filming, which is both funny and interesting. Bonus points for the appendix reproducing Imogen Stubbs's spot-on epistolary impersonation of Lucy Steele (whom she played in the movie).
Emily Taylor
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this with all my heart.

The script is interesting and beautiful in its own way, but what sold me on this was the candid diaries of Emma Thompson. They are so very intimate and I fell in love with Emma while reading her raw accounts of the production process which - as a filmmaker - was as much entertaining as educational.

Thank you for releasing this to us.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Emma Thompson with all my heart and will go on doing so until the day I die.
I only read the diaries, which were fast and short but delightful. An excellent palette cleanser, really, and I am more convinced than ever that I want to be BFFs with Emma Thompson.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it

Originally posted on The Librarian Next Door:

In the introduction to The Sense & Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries, producer Lindsay Doran writes that it took 15 years just to develop the project (write the script, find a director, etc.) before filming ever started. The insider-y bits of information from Doran and from Emma Thompson’s diaries are wonderful peeks into the heart, passion and love that went into bringing Austen’s classic to the big screen.

The Sense & Sensibility Screenplay
Ellen Rose
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Emma Thompson is one of my favourite ladies. Her 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite movies. A book by her about that film is now my favourite thing in the world. This was a gorgeous little book which included a full screenplay, unseen photos from behind the scenes on set, headshots and best of all, Emma Thompson’s diary, which she kept during the months of filming.

Firstly, the screenplay. If you’re as big a nerd as me, then reading along with the film is a very
Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
I enjoyed this a lot. Sense and Sensibility is one of my most favourite movies, the cast was so perfect for it, same as I feel for the 1995 Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. I watch this movie regularly and love it just as much as the first time I saw it.

I'm not going to lie, I was hoping for some gossip on how things happened between Emma Thompson and Greg Wise, Willoughby in the movie, and there was absolutely nothing about it, bummer. Every time I see S&S I snicker and think, oh, but
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
So good! The first half is the S&S screenplay, which interestingly, contains a few scenes that did not make it to the final movie. The cut scenes were well cut, I think! The second half of the book is Emma Thompson's diary while shooting the movie. She is ridiculously funny. Prior to reading this diary, I never really considered how punishing and intense it is for actors to shoot movies. Even a period drama/love story like Sense & Sensibility can be physically and emotionally grueling. ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This little book is stellar. It contains 3 things:

-Emma Thompson's award-winning screenplay adapted from Jane Austen's novel (wonderful)
-Emma Thompson's personal diary she kept daily during the filming of the Sense & Sensibility movie -
(priceless, charming, down-to-earth, hilarious)
-Emma Thompson's Golden Globes acceptance speech written in the style of Jane Austen (adorable)

I adore Emma Thompson even more than I did before I read this book!
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've said before that I prefer the screenplay over the book (though I still like the book!); so I enjoyed reading this. It was also fun to read Emma's little journal she kept during production. It made me want to be an actress in a movie or two... and/or be a screenwriter. It was nice to see Emma as a "real person," flaws and all. Time to re-watch the movie!
Jessamyn Leigh
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Austen fans
The screenplay to one of my favorite movies and diaries by witty and wonderful Emma Thompson, all in one place?! It was really cool to see how a real screenplay works and Emma's behind-the-scenes notes were funny and also helpful and relevant to my life.
Joelle Anthony
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love this. I read it periodically and then watch the movie because I'm a total geek.
May 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thompson is a surprisingly good author - no wonder she won the Oscar that year for Best Adapted Screenplay!
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
You'd never guess from her production diaries that Emma Thompson was, at the time of filming, an Oscar-winning actress. She has such a witty, self-deprecating tone. When she complains about being forced to go to Cannes to promote another film, you're jarred right out of the whole thing. Oh yeah, Emma Thompson is quite a big deal.

In many ways, Thompson's production diaries are a tell-all. Thompson doesn't hide the frustrations of not getting the day's required shots, the cultural dissonance
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I never knew that Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay to the movie version of Sense and Sensibility until I saw this book pop up on someone's GoodReads timeline. Is it any wonder I love Ms. Thompson? (It surprised me how full of self doubt the journal portion of this book is- doesn't Emma know she's fabulous?)
While it is impossible to truly capture the brilliance of Jane Austen in a two hour movie, I think that this film production of Sense and Sensibility does a respectable and lovely job of it.
Gina Hayes
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
As much as I am a "Pride and Prejudice" is hard for me to admit that this is the only novel of Jane Austen that I have read. I mentioned this to the teacher I work under (and friend in reading), and she gave me this book and "Sense and Sensibility." As much as I am a fan of Emma Thompson's acting, I am more of a fan of Emma Thompson...funny, self-effacing, and very perceptive. And also a this companion book to the movie, we get to read the script of "Sense and ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was reading a blog post about Emma Thompson and some of the commenters mentioned this book. I had no idea it existed! I was able to get a used copy for a few dollars (I'm pretty sure my local library wouldn't have it). Sense & Sensibility is one of my favorite movies, so this was really fun to read. If you know the movie well enough you'll notice where some scenes and dialogue were cut from the movie. Emma Thompson's production diary was fun (sometimes a bit repetitive though) and ...more
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Emma Thompson is an Emmy-, BAFTA-, Golden Globe- and two time Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. She is also a patron of the Refugee Council.
“Can he love her? Can the soul really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn - to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Eloise...” 234 likes
“Piracy is our only option.” 53 likes
More quotes…