Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sense Sensibility |
with Miss Austen Regrets
Actors: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, Janet McTeer, Mark Williams
Director: John Alexander
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
From acclaimed writer Andrew Davies (BBC?s Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth) comes this enchanting new adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel about love and marriage. Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sle... more »
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Kate J. from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 1/17/2010...
This version of Jane Austen's novel really made me appreciate Emma Thompson's earlier adaption. I find "Sense and Sensibility" to be sort of a strange novel of Austen's, and it makes sense to me why "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma," for instance, are adapted far more frequently.
However, I think that this Masterpiece Theater version is truer to the novel, which is always important. Although I usually far prefer films that are as true to the book as possible, this may be the one exception.
I found this film version quite bleak: almost depressing. So I suppose as long as one goes into the film thinking of it more as a serious piece, on the order of, say, "Persuasion," it will lead to less disappointment.
All of this being said, the acting, the visuals, and everything else that Masterpiece Theater consistently gets right are excellent as usual.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kathleen O. (Kathleen) from WALDPORT, OR
Reviewed on 6/18/2008...
I found this version of Sense and Sensibility better than the 1995 and I really liked the '95 version overall.
Steven's is not as bumbling as Hugh Grant's Edward and Hattie Morahan is the proper age for the part. I always felt Thompson should have cast someone else as she simply did not look young enough for the role. Morahan and Steven's also have wonderful chemistry and are excellent actors.
Wakefield is delightful as Marianne and Morrissey as Brandon was just as good as Rickman. In fact I always felt Rickman looked more 45 than 35 and found Marianne's falling in love with Morrissey's Brandon much more realistic.
McTeer made a far superior Mrs. Dashwood. She is graceful and genteel.
Overall I found the supporting cast fabulous and believable. This version follows the book more closely and gives proper time for telling the story.
I much prefer this version over the '95 version.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kendra M. (KendraM) from NASHVILLE, TN
Reviewed on 3/14/2008...
This version of Sense & Sensibility is every bit as good than the 1995 Kate Winslet/Emma Thompson version. Except that nobody, ever, can be as good as Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, this version is thoroughly entertaining. And, this Colonel Brandon was really very good. Had Alan Rickman not played the same role earlier, I would have been completely satisfied with this actor's portrayal and demeanor.
The story follows the novel quite closely. Lucy is portrayed a bit differently, but not much, and it works very well. Both Marianne and Elinor are delightful to watch. The acting is superb. Edward, coincidentally (or maybe purposely) is almost a dead-ringer for Hugh Grant's Edward.
Where the other version was awash in saturated colors, this version is a bit more subdued-- yet Marianne is still just as luminous and the countryside just as lush.
This is gorgeously filmed and a complete delight from start to finish. I wouldn't recommend one version over the other-- I'd get both and watch them both. This film is definitely recommended.
9 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
A faithful and charming version that period drama fans will
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jane Austen fans have reason to rejoice. After a mixed repertoire of new Austen adaptations, BBC has done it again with a pleasurable, charming and faithful adaptation to "Sense & Sensibility."
No doubt this version of `Sense & Sensibility' will be compared to the popular and well-loved 1995 film version starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. And it certainly has big shoes to fill. After all, the 1995 version was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, won Emma Thompson a Best Adapted Screenplay award and catapulted then-unknown Kate Winslet to stardom. And while that version sets the bar for all other versions that follow, even its most faithful fans would certainly admit that it did have its flaws. For one, at a 2-hour or so running time, the audience was treated to a few excised characters, the absence of some key scenes from the book and some actors who were noticeably too old for their roles.
Nevertheless, I approached this new S&S with some trepidation. I felt that there was no way for this version to top (or even equal) the one from 1995. Imagine my surprise when I found myself totally captivated by the end of this miniseries. While it started slowly, it became more and more enchanting as it went along and I found myself falling in love with most of the characters.
Among its successes are as follows (WARNING - SPOILERS GALORE!!):
1 - A strong screenplay by Andrew Davies. After penning the screenplay to such period drama favorites as the 1995 "Pride & Prejudice" (yes, the one with Colin Firth), "Wives & Daughters," "Middlemarch," "Daniel Deronda" and the new delightful "Northanger Abbey," Andrew Davies is well-known among period drama fans. This strong screenplay manages to stay true to the spirit and tone of the book and Davies successfully brings the novel to life.
2 - Brilliant casting overall. While there are a couple of lukewarm choices, this version has some of the best actors ever cast for S&S roles. Hattie Morahan, Dan Stevens and David Morrissey shine as Elinor, Edward Ferrars and Col. Brandon. Jean Marsh is aptly haughty as Mrs. Ferrars; Daisy Haggard as Anne Steele is funny and very vulgar; Margaret is bright and delightful; and Janet McTeer lends a certain elegance to Mrs. Dashwood. Unlike the 1995 version, the actors here are closer in age to their book counterparts. While Emma Thompson was 36 when she played 20-year old Elinor, Hattie Morahan is 28 (and could pass for 22). Hattie Morahan's intelligent, warm and brilliant turn as Elinor makes her the heart and soul of this story. And I would be very surprised if the ladies in the audience do not fall in love with either Dan Stevens or David Morrissey (or even Dominic Cooper) by the time the credits roll.
3 - Perhaps the most faithful version of the book to date. This version includes all the major and minor characters from the novel, including Lady Middleton, Mrs. Ferrars, Anne Steele and even Col. Brandon's unfortunate ward Eliza (who were all absent in the 1995 version). The actors chosen also closely resemble their characters in age and appearance. And at a 3-hour running time, there is enough time to cover scenes that were missing from the 1995 version as well as develop the characters and their relationships with each other. Some vital scenes that were omitted from the earlier version are also here, including the meeting with the imperious Mrs. Ferrars, the wonderfully awkward scene where Edward is confronted by his mother regarding his secret engagement (which was only talked about in previous versions) and Willoughby's visit to the Palmer's estate in Cleveland. We are shown Allenham (the estate of Willoughby's aunt) and Col. Brandon's estate, Delaford. The plot closely follows what is in the book and some minor added scenes like the duel between Col. Brandon and Willoughby do not take away from the spirit of the book (some might argue that it evens adds a new dimension to the characters. Besides, who wouldn't want a chance to see more of David Morrissey's Brandon?).
4 - Beautiful scenery and locations. The mansions are aptly grand and stately - namely Norland, Barton Park, Cleveland, Delaford and Allenham - and the Dashwood's cottage is humble and small but situated in a spectacular and romantic location amidst hills and crashing waves.
5 - Overall excellent production values. While the recent slew of ITV Jane Austen adaptations had lower budgets, this has the high production values one would expect from the company that gave us the 1995 "Pride & Prejudice", "North & South," "Wives & Daughters" and the upcoming treasure trove of British acting greats - "Cranford" (based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel. Watch for it in April 2008, US period drama fans!!). The score, for one, is lovely and I applaud the location managers for finding such wonderful and appropriate locations and settings. (It is truly a shame that "Northanger Abbey," "Persuasion" and "Mansfield Park" did not get quite the same treatment. Only think of how much better these would have been at higher budgets and a 3 or 4-hour running time).
I can count very few shortcomings because I feel that the production team and cast really hit the nail in the head with this one. Some people may not like the fact that this version is more dramatic and not as funny and lighthearted as the 1995 version but I feel that the tone of this version is appropriate. The only things I can find fault with are the casting of Dominic Cooper as Willoughby and Charity Wakefield as Marianne. I have a great fondness for Greg Wise from the 1995 version. He is exactly what I would picture Willoughby to be - tall, handsome, charming and dashing - so Dominic just falls short of this (he would have made a perfect Henry Crawford ("Mansfield Park") though). And while I eventually warmed to Charity Wakefield's portrayal of Marianne, it does not quite compare to Kate Winslet's luminous and memorable performance.
So Jane Austen and period drama fans have reason to be hopeful. Those who were disappointed with the recent versions of "Persuasion" and "Mansfield Park" have something to look forward to. "Sense and Sensibility" is at least as good as (if not better than) the 1995 version and I believe that this will delight Janeites and British drama fans of all ages. This will definitely hold a special place in my British drama dvd collection.
So how does this compare to the other new adaptations? To me, this almost ties (or is a close second to) "Northanger Abbey" and is much better than "Persuasion" and "Mansfield Park." And if you enjoyed PBS Masterpiece's `Complete Jane Austen,' be on the lookout for "Cranford" (starring acting greats Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Eileen Atkins, Francesca Annis, Imelda Staunton and Leslie Manville - and former Austen drama alumni Simon Woods, Greg Wise and Julia Sawalha) coming in May on PBS."
Finally, a joy to behold!
randomartco | Greater Washington D.C. area | 02/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a disappointing start to the year in new showings of Mansfield Park & Persuasion, and even Northanger Abbey to some extent (it was good, it could have been better: LONGER for one), Sense & Sensibility finally gets it right! Of course, there are a few 'silly' Andrew Davies moments: Edward chopping wood in a wet, white shirt, the beginning seduction scene...but overall the tone & feel of this adaptation are so far superior to those mentioned above, that I must rejoice finally in being given a good adaptation of a Jane Austen novel this year!
They do a fine job with the story, and the actors are very well suited: I loved Hattie Morahan as Elinor, Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars, and nothing wrong with David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon. The age difference between Elinor & Marianne was handled much better in this version, and you can really follow the love stories between the characters succintly, and feel right along with them.
I was also incredibly pleased to see the visit that happened to Elinor while Marianne was recovering (those of you who have read the book, know what I am referring to): to have something added back in, rather than edited from the story was great to see!
Content: for those of you worried about content, there is one decent obstacle: the first few minutes of the film are a very sensual seduction scene between a young man and an even younger woman: I would suggest skipping that, and then the rest of the film is pretty family friendly: no language that I can recall, or very little else that would be counted as objectionable.
What a joy to have a new, well-done adaptation of Sense & Sensibility! This is a film to watch over and over again (as I have done countless times already with my region 2 DVD): a delight, and here's to wishing we'll have many more such in the next few years!
The best one yet! And Fanny Dashwood must die!
Mr. IT | The OC | 01/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We've just finished watching a copy that some friends from Britain brought over.
I didn't think that the Emma Thompson adaption could be topped but it has been. This is by far the definitive dramatic adaptation of this novel to date.
Plus, I'm sure that after you see this superb Andrew Davies screenplay adaptation you will agree with me that Fanny Dashwood must die! She now tops my list of Austen villains. Pride & Prejudice's Mr. Collins now takes the second chair to this greedy, evil, and wicked woman! I hate her with a passion.
Thank you I feel better now. Enjoy the show."