movieThemes: Alan Rickman
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SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)

Cast: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslett, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Harriet Walter, Greg Wise, Imogen Stubbs
Director: Ang Lee
Producers: Lindsay Doran
Screenplay: Emma Thompson
Cinematography: Michael Coulter
Music: Partick Doyle
Approximate Running Time: 136 minutes
Rating:

Alan Rickman as Colonel BrandonCategory: Period Drama/Romance

The Plot: The Dashwood sisters have been left with no money after their father passes away, leaving all his money to his only son, their stepbrother. Before the Dashwoods are forced to leave their home as their stepbrother moves in, Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) falls for the brother of her step-sister-in-law, Edward Farrars (Hugh Grant). Once in the countryside, Elinor is left to wonder what happened to Edward as her impulsive sister, Marianne (Kate Winslett), falls for the dashing Willoughby.

Comment: Emma Thompson has done a wonderful job of converting the Jane Austen story to the big screen. Sense and Sensibility is a marvelous story of warmth, tragedy and the joy of life. The beautiful British countryside contrasts beautifully with the stiff, formal manners of upper society in Britain in the 19th Century.

Emma Thompson and Kate Winslett both give enervating performances as the Dashwood sisters fallen upon hard times. It is hard not to empathize with Elinor as she first wonders why Edward never visited here, and then has to deal in absolute secrecy the betrayal of her love. Similarly, is is hard not to get caught up in Marianne's exuberant love of life and Willoughby. Alan Rickman is touching as the terribly stiff and formal Colonel Brandon. The scene where he is reading to Marianne as she convalesces is particularly poignant, reminding us of how television has forever changed the way in which relationships are conducted in modern times. Hugh Grant is a bit painful as does his usual stuttering and stammering throughout. Fortunately, this is a film about the Dashwood women as we don't have to endure too much of Hugh Grant...

Sense and Sensibility is an enchanting film sure to appeal and delight many women. Although it is definitely a 'chick flick,' it is so well produced that anyone should be able to enjoy this tale of misfortune and triumph of the human spirit.

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