Saturday, March 17, 2018

Movie review of "Sense and Sensibility" (1995 Film with Emma Thompson)

        It's been quite a while since I have posted anything, but I always have things I want to talk about. Life just gets so busy!! I often thought I might want to post a movie review now and then so consider this my first - although it is not a recent film, it is one of my favorites. In fact, I was required to watch it and write a review on it for one of my assignments in a British Literature class I am taking, so I decided I would simply share it. If you have never seen it - what's wrong with you??? (Just kidding, but not that much. Really, it's a must see). However, if you have not seen it yet then this review will not make much sense and it will contain spoilers so, bear that in mind. 

        I love that the character Marianne loves poetry because soon this blog will have daily posts once National Poetry Month starts in April. But for now, for what it's worth ~ here ya' go: 

I loved watching Sense and Sensibility once again. It is a favorite of mine. There are so many things to love about this film: It has a PG rating, some of my favorite actors, the film embraces comedy, drama, and romance while sharing a historical viewpoint of family life and the culture of the times (which would be life in England in the early 1800s). The period costumes are wonderful, the cinematography is breathtaking; even the indoor scenes are just perfection. It is well-written and well-acted. It draws me in every time I watch it. I find it to be a beautifully crafted film. I think the director did an outstanding job and I wouldn’t really change anything (well, maybe not have Mr. Parker and his wife, Mrs. Jennings' daughter, each offer Elinor a cup of tea just moments after each other when she is looking out the window, worried about Marianne).
I love the fact the Emma Thompson is the screenwriter and plays one of the main characters, Elinor Dashwood. This was her first effort at screenwriting and it took her five years to complete (and is the 1996 Academy Award winner for the Best Adapted Screenplay). She fills in some gaps where the novel doesn’t always give an explanation or an understanding of certain situations, but with the characters’ conversations and relationships with each other, it is easy to fall in love with all of them for one reason or another.
There are actually only a few settings; basically Devonshire and London, England, as well as the indoor settings for the several homes involved, including the cottage at Barton Park. Also, the viewer is treated to a glamorous ball, complete with dances of the times.
Observing how the characters relate to each other gives the viewer a chance to see a time when things were slower and more genteel. There was a great deal of bowing going on. The people were more guarded, for the most part, but the storyline allows for some characters to be more gregarious and flamboyant. And yet, it seems there were “politics” at that time, especially when it comes to behavior, property ownership, wealth, and courtships.
I love the characters of Mrs. Jennings and Sir John, who are good-natured gossips (just being friendly). They each have a heart of gold and genuinely welcome the Dashwood women to Barton Park. I feel the casting agent did an excellent job in this film. Hugh Grant brings a certain boyish charm to an otherwise reserved and at times awkward Edward, being forced into several situations he would rather not be in. Kate Winslet is delightful as Marianne. Gemma Jones plays her part as grieving widow but supportive and caring mother perfectly. Alan Rickman, often a villain, is superb as Colonel Brandon. Other cast members fill their roles equally well.
There is a great contrast and yet balance between the two oldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Elinor is older, proper and more reserved, while Marianne is younger, spontaneous, and makes her feelings known, even to possible suitors. They both play well off of each other and have a comfortable banter between them. I love Elinor’s dry wit and Emma Thompson plays her character exquisitely, despite being much older than the same character in the novel.
After the scare that Marianne might die from the fever she gets as a result of traipsing through the rain just to see Willoughby's estate, obstacles are overcome, misunderstandings set right, and all ends well. As the film comes to a satisfying close, I, for one, am all the happier and more content for having watched it. Cheers!!