June 6, 2009
Review - " Jane Austen's various works " - By Roland Hansen
I am a big fan of Jane Austen, the romance, the manners, courtesy & language. I have read all 6 of her novels & watched as
many of the movies based on her work as I have been able. Although Austen never married, the emotional warmth of her
romantic novels has always fed speculation about her private passions. The 2007 film Becoming Jane explored her youthful
flirtation with a handsome Irishman named Tom Lefroy who, it is suggested, was the inspiration for the rugged Mr Darcy in
Pride and Prejudice.
I present here, in alphabetical order, a brief review of the various versions I have seen. I am not including some of the more
derivative works such as "Clueless" - Based on Emma or "Bridget Jone Diary" - Based on Pride and Prejudice
who would give anything to knock some sense into her daughter (Jane Austen). AnnaMaxwell Martin is also very good as the
sister and confidante of Jane Austen.
The director Julian Jarrold has done a wonderful job of making an amazing movie that will appeal to all generations.
The two very charming leads who are the very heart of the movie : Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. Both are exceptional.
McAvoy, who has less screen time then Hathaway, makes you understand the sheer cockiness and arrogance of Tom Lefroy,
from his live free attitude in life to his transformation as a man who begins to care for Jane Austen. His chemistry with Anne
Hathaway is sizzling and a very important factor in maintaining the movie's momentum.
Anne Hathaway is a marvel as Jane Austen, her determination and spark is vividly captured by Anne in what can be called a
very career defining performance. Not only does one feel the pain for Jane but one does marvel at what holds her together
and her writing makes her pull through in life. It is Anne Hathaway's spirited portrayal of the literary icon that forms the
essence of the movie. From her determination to write and her heart break to her feisty attitude to succeed as a writer is
uniquely captures by the young actress. One can't really find the exact words to describe the actress's performance as Jane
Austen, which is if simply put great.
Bride and Prejudice
beginning is that these two lovers have fallen in love in spite of their differences.
There is always music and dance in most Indian films. The director, and the choreographer take advantage of the genre in
ways that fill our eyes constantly with a dance sequence more lavish than the previous one. I, for one, am not a fan of the
Bollywood musical sequences and would have liked the film much more without them.
In minor roles Daniel Gillies plays Johnny Wickham. Marsha Mason is seen briefly as Mrs. Darcy, a woman whose prejudice
against her son's love for Lalita. And Nitin Ganatra as Mr. Kohli, the dreaded fool cousin whom the family is determined our
heroin should wed.
Knightley. Sophie Thompson's turn as Ms Bates is virtuoso acting of the finest and the rest of the cast is no disappointment
either - Toni Colette brings a lot of Muriel to her Harriet, and Ewan McGregor is convincingly charming - and Alan Cumming
and Juliet Stevenson are the perfect "impossible" couple!
Of course the sets and costumes, and the beautiful soundtrack contribute a lot to the feelgood, almost Hobbiton-like
atmosphere of the movie - although as far as cinematography and art decoration go, it's almost a case of visual overload.
Very very pretty, but a little more austerity might have conveyed a better sense of period. But the good thing is, the movie
doesn't take itself too seriously, and there is plenty of fun - and some pretty cool editing - that keep it from sinking into
saccharine Merry Old England mode.
Jane Austen Book Club
Therefore, Jocelyn invites Grigg (Hugh Dancy), an attractive young man she met at a hotel bar, to join them. In truth, he has
eyes for Jocelyn and, although a science fiction fan, would read almost anything to get to know her better. Thus, the
discussions start, but the repartee is, at times, only a brief breather from the continuing problems of the club members. These
troubles include death, near-infidelity, sky-diving crashes, crazy mothers, and more. Will the club work to the benefit of its
members? This is a lovely film about the friends and relationships that make human existence bearable. As the bosom
buddies, the movie's fine cast members are all quite wonderful, with Blunt, especially, still managing to make her flawed,
confused character, endearing. The California setting is beautiful, naturally, and so are the costumes. Then, too, the script is
lively and refined, echoing Austen's great books. Indeed, there is enough of Jane's novels worked into the film's content to
satisfy the fans of her highly esteemed works.
The humor revolves around the unexpected, as do the more tragic and hurtful points. But even here there's a sort of
unpredictable-predictability that, because of its exuberance, can be accepted for what it is. The characters behave as
expected, but are surprised with the audience when the unexpected pops up. We can sympathize with them and their
situations. It's what might be called the ultimate in character empathy - Austen style.
And isn't that one of Austen's great hallmarks? Her ability to create characters one can believe and sympathize with on all
levels? Austen's books are used to create a tapestry of themes to navigate the highs and woes of life. The film's irreverent
narrative remains intelligent, adult, somewhat prosaic and marginally didactic, but highly enjoyable for the most part.
Lost in Austen
spunky heroine, with some great punchlines along the way.
Elliot Cowan makes a near-perfect Darcy, playing off the Firth image with a sly wink, and ultimately finally revealing a little
humanity beneath the stolid facade toward the end of the film.
Overall, it's an intriguing exploration into Pride and Prejudice that makes it much more of a whimsical adventure as some
plotlines grow incredibly peculiar and new couplings are forged that one wouldn't have dreamed from Austen's novel. The
uneven yet highly spirited and fun "Lost in Austen" makes a nice escapist Darcy dream for those of us who may have worn
out our copies of the book or various versions of the film and are in the mood for something entirely different, like the idea
that Elizabeth Bennet may some day just show up in our bathroom.
touch too overbearing in the film, although the film does not create this sexuality anew but draws from the tension latent in the
novel (with the exception of the above-mentioned lesbianism). Other disappointments include Sir Bertram and Tom Bertram,
who are practically caricatures that mar the otherwise brilliant characterization in the film. Also surprising is a bit of nudity and
overt sexuality, which is never found in a Jane Austen film. As they say in Jane Austen Book Club - "Austen is all about
keeping it zipped". Regardless, the film's high points far outweigh its imperfections.
Billie Piper acted the part of Fannny Price with emotion and gracefulness. I loved her relationship with Edmund and how their
relationship grew throughout the show. I enjoyed watching Blake Riston as Edmund Bertram. He does a fine job. The moment
when Edmund realizes that he is in love with Fanny was beautifully done and the ending is so romantic. I would recommend
this to any Jane Austen fan.
The ending was really romantic and sweet. And which movie is perfect any way? Not one! There's not even a perfect human
being on this planet, so give this movie or whatever you might call it, because we always get a second chance, so why shall it
be betrayed? All this add up to make a very enjoyable film.
Miss Austen Regrets
estate threaten the house she lives in but can never own. This insecurity is what Miss Austen really regrets.
All the minor performances are what you'd expect from top-drawer BBC period drama and Olivia Williams and Imogen Poots
are excellent in the two central roles of aunt who hasn't given up flirting and the niece about to become engaged who is still
learning the ropes. The whole production portrays an interesting life, full of love, frustration, struggle and uncertainty
about life's choices, and does something like justice to one of the greatest authors of literature and her most intimate
Andrew Davies was really enjoying himself when adapting Austen's novel. When I see Davies' name attached to a period
drama I feel safe that it will be done competently and in good taste, and Northanger Abbey was. My only criticism, which isn't
so much a criticism more of my wanting it to continue, is that the ending was cut a little short. Of course this was due to time
restraints. This is one of the best period dramas for a very long time. This is certainly one I would recommend to both Austen
enthusiasts and newcomers alike, it truly is accessible to all, and can be enjoyed by many!
I enjoy Jane Austin best of all when it is free of the Hollywood temptation to populate her cast with handsome men and
beautiful woman. Anne Elliot is attractive not because she is some buxom blonde, but because her character is intelligent,
quiet, and generously caring.
Unfortunately he lacks any screen presence and didn't convince me in the slightest that he loved Anne. He was very
unconvincing as a Navy man. Ciaran Hinds is in a different league to him.
Adrian Shergold employs a lot of hand held camera, and uses a lot of close ups in order for the audience to recognise the
relationships between characters and their feelings. Quite often Sally Hawkins looks at the camera, and I felt this worked
very well. She was able to connect and communicate with the audience without saying a word.
The supporting cast was brilliant, with Amanda Hale brilliantly playing Anne moronic younger sister. Alice Krige was great as
Lady Russell (who knew the Borg had assimilated Jane Austen?). I didn't really care for Anthony Head as Sir Walter Elliot.
Pride and Prejudice
depth to this film version. Claudie Blakley as Elizabeths's wise friend Charlotte Lucas & Simon Wood's amusing Mr Bingley are
delightful supporting performers. Donald Sutherland turns in a uniquely touching performance as Mr Bennet - capturing both
the humour of living in an all female household & five daughters to look after with the poignancy of seeing his eldest
children's difficult relationships develop, easily his best acting performance in years.
In the difficult role of Mr Darcy rising British star Matthew Macfadyen rises to the occasion. With the short running time,
there is not enough time to allow Darcy's repressed & prejudiced personality to be fully represented. Macfadyen perfectly
displays Darcy's social & class problems, his unfortunate attempts at gaining Eliabeth Bennet's interest & his painful
adjustments to achieve their personal love story. Macfayden & Knightley's objectionable first dance, their embarrassingly
moving Collins House meeting, the unexpected Pemberley encounter plus their two proposal scenes are highlights of this film.
Rounding out the cast are American Jena Malone as Lydia, Carey Mulligan as Kitty, and Talulah Riley as Mary (I always
thought Talulah was miscast since she is far too pretty to play Mary, although her acting in the part was superb)
Engaging acting performances with wondrous film photography, film locations at some of United Kingdom's most famous
stately homes, marvellous film sets & costumes plus one of 2005's best original music scores add greatly to this new film
version. All in all one of the better films of 2005 - not perfect film making and not intended to be as subtle as Austen's novel
-but a wonderful surprise with some changes to present a modern version of Pride & Prejudice for current audiences.
Pride and Prejudice (BBC Miniseries)
traits and is utterly convincing in portraying the outward stiffness as a simple facade for the strong emotions and character
underneath, rather than simply being stiff and wooden. His looks, and especially his eyes, say so much of the complexity of
his character and his feelings with subtle expressions. Similarly Jennifer Ehle excellently portrays Lizzie, showing her to be
tender, witty, thoughtful, occasionally prone to strong judgments without all the information, yet trying to grapple with different
feelings as her involvement with Darcy, et al., progresses. David Bamber is great as Mr. Collins and perfectly conveys his mix
of traits. Alison Steadman's histrionics and fickle opinions are wonderful as the mom, and remind me very much of an actual
relative of mine, while Benjamin Whitrow is a great counterpart as the father who is outwardly usually calm and peaceful, yet
always able to rile up his wife. The others are great, too, but there is no point in listing them all. The bottom line is that I find it
hard to beat this production, which is utterly gripping and keeps anyone interested in these stories completely entranced the
whole way through.
Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy
Sense and Sensability
Emma Thompson should have a thousands oscars for her beautiful deeds in this film, not only as an excellent actress but also
as the one who wrote the screenplay. she's done everything right. and could Ang Lee possibly have found any better actors
for the parts? I really doubt it. Kate Winslet is stunning as Marianne, the wild, strong girl who got full attention from two very
special men. Hugh Grant gives us a great performance of the charmingly shy Edward, who would like nothing more than a
quiet private life. And Alan Rickman is just wonderful! He gives Brandon the right amount of sadness, tenderness and love -
and sweeps anyone off their feet just by being in the scene. Emma Thompson is one of the best actresses ever. Her
performance is brilliant. She's brilliant. The whole film is so brilliant!
Sense and Sensability (BBC Miniseries)
and confrontational than did Emma Thompson. She is much more openly critical of Marianne and less indulgent with her and
for much of the time they seem to actively dislike each other. Tracy Childs is a good Marianne, but perhaps too much of a
spoilt brat at times. The relationship between the two never quite works.
Sense and Sensability
Snape than Jane Austen's smooth charmer. In contrast Dan Stevens is TOO charming as Edward Ferrars. He shows none of
the awkward shyness that the part calls for. David Morrisey's Colonel Brandon is played with a bit too much anger and not
enough of the reserved dignity of Alan Rickman's portrayal. This can easily be blamed on the writer and director. Morrisey
(The Waterhorse, The Other Boleyn Girl) certainly has the acting chops and presence to play the part as it should be. Hattie
Morahan is good as the eldest Miss Dashwood but shows her emotions on her face far too much for the staid Elinor. This is
no doubt the fault of the director. The one notable exception is Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood. Marianne is all
passion and romantic notions. Charity's portrayal of the wildly romantic teenager is magnificent. She gives us a self-absorbed
upper class adolescent living out the highs and lows of her passions while oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of those
around her. It was a major mistake to show Marianne having such a high regard for Colonel Brandon early in their
acquaintance rather than rejecting his attentions at the start. The big reveal at the end of the 1995 version made audiences
stand up and cheer. In contrast, Marianne's "Please don't be angry with me" confession to Elinor in their bedroom lacks the
oomph and feels somewhat anti-climactic.
The scenery was shot beautifully. The exterior and interiors of the mansions gives you the old world feel of the early
nineteenth century. The estates of Norland, Barton Park, & Delaford are particularly well displayed. They are beautiful &
grand without being overly ornamental or ostentatious and provide an air that people of wealth and consequence reside
there. The contrast between the elegance of Norland and the simplicity of Barton Cottage illustrates the extent to which the
Dashwood's fortunes have fallen. In spite of the issues I found with casting fans of Jane Austen's works and/or period pieces
will find this film captivating andenjoyable.
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to Critics@deltafilms.net
"A woman especially if she has the
misfortune of knowing anything, should
conceal it as well as she can." - Jane Austen.
A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane
Austen and her romance with a young
Irishman. Seldom does one go to a movie
with high expectations and ends up having
them fulfilled, but Becoming Jane is an
exception in this case. Hot on the heels of
2005's Pride and Prejudice this movie offers
a look into the early years of a spirited Jane
Austen and her encounter with a man who
could have formed the basis of one of her
most famous literary characters Mr Darcy.
Not only is it visually stunning but the
performances from everyone are superb.
Maggie Smith a delightful as the shrewd old
Aunt. Julie Walters excellent as the mother
Bollywood meets Hollywood. Gurinder
Chadha has transported Jane Austen's great
novel to India. What a charmer this film turns
out to be! The adaptation of the novel is
excellent as the new locale is incorporated to
the story. The incredible Indian colors
explode in front of our eyes giving the
Western viewers such an opportunity to
experience a little taste of India.
Asihwarya Rai is without a doubt, one of the
most beautiful women working in movies. This
gorgeous creature plays Lalita, the
unmarried girl at the center of the action.
Martin Henderson is the handsome Darcy,
the man that falls head over heels after
meeting Lalita. Their first moments are
awkward, as it's expected when there are a
clash of cultures. But it's clear from the
Frances O'Connor and Jonny Lee Miller (as Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram)
carry the film with their subtlety and chemistry, and a few scenes between the two
are enough to deem the film a masterpiece. But they are not the only merits: the
supporting cast breathe dimensionality to their characters with interesting
interpretations of Austen's work. Most notable are Lindsay Duncan in her dual
roles as Mrs Price and Mrs Bertram, and Victoria Hamilton as an intensely human
Maria. Sophia Myles and Justine Waddell display equal genius albeit within the
limitations of somewhat small roles. It is more difficult to gauge the performances
of Alessandro Nivola and Embeth Davidtz; their characters are too affected by
choices made in the script (Henry Crawford for the better and Mary Crawford for
One can be a fan of Jane Austen and still appreciate the film. Although it bears
little resemblance to the novel itself, It can be said that this Mansfield Park is
inspired by rather than adapted from Jane Austen's work. It embodies much of the
spirit of Austen and draws from her other novels where Mansfield Park the novel
might be, dare I say, lacking. I am an ardent supporter of Austen, but I must say
that the film version makes a commendable choice in choosing a protagonist that
shares more of Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett's spirit than the subdued
Fanny of Mansfield Park.
The film does, of course, have its flaws. The slavery issue is treated in a manner
too heavy-handed to blend with Austen's style, and the same can be said of the
hints of lesbianism that are just painfully out of place. The sexual tension is often a
Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a congenial young
lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs.
When her governess is married and goes to live with her
new husband, Emma is triumphant, saying that she made
the match herself. Her old friend, George Knightley (Jeremy
Northam), tries to discourage her from doing this again, but
she does not listen to him. She immediately introduces the
newly-arrived local minister to a local girl, Harriet Smith.
By no means my favourite Austen novel, and Paltrow is by
no means my favourite actress, but I found the film almost
totally delightful. What a well-crafted little gem this is! I've
never seen Gwyneth Paltrow in a more convincing
performance, and Jeremy Northam is the perfect Mr
Sylvia (Amy Brenneman) and her husband,
Daniel (Jimmy Smits) have been married for a
little over 20 years. But, one day, Daniel
drops the big bombshells that he is seeing
another woman and that he wants a divorce.
Sylvia is heartbroken, so much so that her
young, beautiful, lesbian daughter Allegra
moves back home to keep an eye on her.
Close friend, Jocelyn (Maria Bello) is also
hovering over Sylvia and decides to create a
book club so that the jilted lady will be
surrounded by friends, conversation, and
hope. Joining the club is a six-time divorcée
(Kathy Baker), an uptight young French
teacher, Prudie (Emily Blunt), and Allegra
herself. But, because they decide the club will
be devoted to Jane Austen and her six books,
they need one more member to put someone
in charge of each, distinct book discussion.
While at its core "Lost in Austen" stays quite
within the confines of the book, it still takes
enormous liberties in swapping out plots and
characters, sometimes to fascinating effect as
Charlotte Lucas becomes a bit more unlikable
than you'd assume and we discover that there
may be a second side to Wickham's storyline
that we'd never heard, along with one major
surprise about Caroline Bingley (of which
Amanda Price exclaims "I bet Jane Austen
never imagined that!"). We soon learn Mr
Bennets christian name, something never
mentioned in the novel. We also get a bit of
backstory as Mr Bennet tells of teaching
Lizzie to fly a kite at age 10. We even get to
meet Mr Collin's brothers (who turn out to be
even more repulsive than he - if that's even
This is simply nonstop fun all the way, despite
its length. Jemina Rooper is an amazingly
This version of Mansfield park is by no means perfect. I think
they could have developed the story line about Mary and
Henry Crawford trying to insert themselves into the Bertrand
family, for example. However, the acting is very good, and the
scenery and costumes are fantastic.
Much of the plot was left out, but this is understandable
because it is a very long book which had to be squeezed into
a 2 hour slot. In the book, we can see Henry Crawford's love
for Fanny building up over quite a while, but for those
viewers who have never read the book, it comes as a
surprise and happens too quickly and for that reason doesn't
Miss Austen Regrets sets off at a gallop.
One and a half minutes in and we are
already over the worst hurdles. We have a
talented, intelligent lead - an innovative,
sparkily humorous script - tactful and
It portrays Jane Austen (played by lovely
and talented Olivia Williams) between the
publication of Mansfield Park and Emma,
just starting on the first draft of Persuasion
and surrounds her with characters with
credible lives of their own. It does an
excellent job of demonstrating just how
fragile was the life of even a woman
successful and famous enough to be a
guest of the Prince Regent. Only by
marriage rather than as a result of her work
can Jane support her family in their modest
style of life. Questions over her brother's
Well, after seeing it I can only praise it. The cast performed
extremely well - especially JJ Field as the charming and
likable Henry Tilney, and Felicity Jones as the naive and
excitable Catherine Morland - the direction was top class,
and the narrative - though not always faithful to the book -
was pretty much faultless.
Northanger Abbey was lively and highly amusing. It was
actually funny, and kept well to the spirit of the book.
Newcomer Felicity Jones was brilliant as Catherine
Morland, so too was JJ Field as Henry Tilney and
Catherine Walker as Eleanor Tilney. It was a joy seeing
Carey Mulligan (Kitty from Pride & Prejudice) a bit more
grown up and (her character) bit less likeable.
In fact the whole cast did a great job of entertaining
throughout. The script was brilliant, and you felt that
Persuasion is my personal favorite of all
Jane Austen's books. There is something
about the longing of love lost long ago,
lost but not forgotten, that speaks to me as
none of her other works do.
Special kudos to Amanda Root's brilliant,
subtle performance as the heroine Anne
Elliot. Ciaran Hinds, as Captain Wentworth,
is virile, handsome and highly attractive as
the lonely sea-farer come to land after years
of fighting in the Napolianic wars.
Not only is this a ripping love story it is
imbued with great humor and pathos as well.
Other standouts in the cast are John
Woodvine and Fiona Shaw as the Admiral
and his devoted wife. Sophie Thompson
turns in a wonderful performance as the
ever-whining, obnoxious younger sister,
Mary, who, along with the elder Elliot
daughter, Elizabeth, burden the
long-suffering Anne with their uselessness.
Colin Redgrave is fabulous as Anne's father,
a sniveling social climber, and Samuel West
as the seedy relative who tries to get back in
the families good graces to make sure that
his fortunes are preserved.
I have a hard time choosing which of the
two versions of Persuasion is my favorite.
They are both wonderful in their own
right. Sally Hawkins is my preferred Anne
Elliot (from this adaptation) I liked Colin
Redgrave (from the previous version) much
more as Sir Walter Elliot. I liked the ending
of each but think I preferred this one just a
little bit more. I think this Captain
Wentworth is better looking but Ciaran
Hinds was better acted.
There is a voice over so as to enable the
audience to get closer to the character of
Anne Elliot played very well by Sally
Hawkins. Rupert Penry-Jones is good as
Captain Wentworth, whose interaction with
Anne is concise and to the point. They are
not strangers, but they are estranged.
A "modernised" version of Jane Austen's classic
novel. Austen's famous wit, satire & humour that
forms the basis for her enduring appeal is sidelined
to open up this version as more emotional drama for
British star Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet) excels
in her first real leading actress role ably supported
by fellow Brit Rosamund Pike (Jane Bennet) as the
sisters supportive of each other's & their Bennett
family problems. Knightley at 20 is the right age for
her character,this allows Elizabeth's girlish
personality plus her character's pride,
misjudgements & loving nature to shine through.
Great star turns from Brenda Blethyn as their
mother Mrs Bennet plus Oscar winner Judi Dench as
fearsome Lady De Bourgh (Mr Darcy's aunt) add
Often considered the quintesential
adaptation this version of "Pride and
Prejudice" is simply outstanding and excels
in essentially every aspect. At 5 hours in
length it is faithful to the book, particularly
capturing the spirit of the book and the
energy and constant tension of the story. It
excellently portrays the world of the book as
it relates to the story, with keen attention
to the details of costume, the furniture, etc.
Moreover, the actors were on the whole
outstanding. I fail to see how anyone
could have portray Darcy better than did
Colin Firth, who perfectly captured the
character's aristocratic refinedness, his
shyness and sense of decorum that come
across as apparent stuffiness and disdain,
and his underlying passion, all at the same
time. He perfectly blends all these different
Elizabeth Bennet is a hard-working, intelligent college student who won't even
think about marriage until she graduates. But when she meets Jack Wickham, a
good-looking playboy, and Darcy, a sensible businessman, Elizabeth's
determination is put to the test. Will she see through their exteriors and discover
their true intentions? Based on Jane Austen's timeless tale Pride and Prejudice,
Bestboy Pictures presents a comedy about love, life and feminine persuasion.
If you're attracted to the P&P story line and are entertained by the idea of the
plot working itself out in different cultural contexts, then this is the movie for you.
The context here is the LDS or "Mormon" culture of Utah. Like "Clueless," the
movie's strength comes from recycling the plot of one of Austen's classic novels.
As it is, it's fun, though rough around the edges.
P&P poses some real challenges when you transport it to a modern setting,
since a lot of the things that mattered to women in the Regency period just don't
matter any more. By placing the story in the LDS context, the producers
subjected the women to a culture with a few crucial similarities. I know very little
about the LDS culture, but the film suggests that LDS women *want* to get
married and the men expect them to be virgins. This gives the story its
This is clearly a low budget production. It shows in some of the technical aspects
and in the acting, but the actors are at least competent. There's lots of gentle
humor, but the movie lacks the sharp wit that is Austen's trademark.
When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his
estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his
second wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and
Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in
by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the
marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic
Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy
Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates
them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy
(and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the
dashing and fiery Willoughby more to her taste. Both
relationships are sorely tried. But this is a romance, and
through the hardships and heartbreak, true love and a
happy ending will find their way for both the sister who is all
sense and the one who is all sensibility.
This is my least favorite version of Sense and Sensability and my least
favorite Austen film so far.
It cannot compare in the polished final production, lovely locations and fine
costumes department - things which a large budget can bestow upon a
movie. However, most of the performances are engaging, especially
Willoughby, Edward Ferrars and Lucy Steele (apart from Robert Swann's
portrayal of Colonel Brandon which lacked any life whatsoever! - but after
seeing Alan Rickman in the role, I'd be disappointed with any other
performance) and Peter Woodward makes a dashing Willoughby.
This version has the advantage of an extra hour in which to tell the story. It
can include characters that Thompson had to omit, such as Lucy's silly elder
sister and Lady Middleton and her spoilt children and can include scenes
such as the confrontations between Elinore and Lady Ferrars and Elinore
and Willoughby. This BBC version keeps in the visit of Edward Ferrers to
Barton Cottage and of Willoughby to see Marianne when she is ill at
Cleveland. However, It also deletes the youngest sister Margaret, which I
think is big mistake.
The failure of this TV version is that although it can be more expansive and
include more characters and more incidents it never really establishes the
relationship between the sisters. Irene Richards (who was a superb Charlotte
Lucas in the BBC version of P & P) plays Elinore as somewhat more spiky
Andew Davies has a great deal of experience adapting Jane
Austen for film. He wrote the screenplays for the BBC
production of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger
Abbey and the Pride & Prejudice inspired Bridget Jones
Diary. With "Sense and Sensibility" he once again does a
fine job of remaining faithful to Austen's original work.
Although far superior in all aspects to the 1981 British
miniseries it lacks the polish of Emma Thompson's 1995
Hollywood adaptation. The 2008 BBC version of Sense and
Sensibility seems often miscast or misdirected (or both).
The character of John Willoughby is supposed to be
charming and handsome. In this part, Dominic Cooper
(History Boys) is neither. He comes across far too sleezy. He
would have been far better cast as Happy Potter's professor