In this blog’s opinion, Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility is the best-of-breed within Jane Austen film adaptations. Please note, however, there are two very good reasons to discredit my opinion on this subject:
I. Despite my English major, I am ashamed to admit I have read only one Jane Austen novel: Emma. Yeah, I know, I’ve got to get working on that.
II. Sense and Sensibility features two of this blog’s all-time favorite movie crushes: Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Any film featuring just one of these English roses automatically earns extra credit. Any film featuring Emma and Kate, together, equals porn (especially if they hop into bed together, as they do here… granted, as sisters keeping their toes warm, but still!). Any film featuring Emma and Kate, plus a screenplay by Emma, equals bliss.
A few extra notes:
- Guest commentator (and first-class Austen aficionado) Snarkbait has coined the best phrase for this genre: “Regency Era froth”.
- Actor Greg Wise (John Willoughby) later became Mr. Emma Thompson, after Kenneth Branaugh foolishly let her get away.
- Hugh Grant’s trademark stammer, persistent interest in the carpet, and out-of-control hair are still charming even in 18th Century surroundings. But it is difficult to stifle a snicker when the devilish Grant, as Edward Ferrars, expresses an interest in joining the Church.
- I wish I had Alan Rickman’s (Col. Brandon) vocal cords.
- Hey, look! It’s Tom Wilkinson in a cameo as the soon-to-be-late Mr. Dashwood! This blog thinks Wilkinson is one of the finest and most versatile actors working today.
- Required viewing: Emma Thompson’s 1996 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar acceptance speech (not on YouTube as of this writing, but here is the text).