Sense and Sensibility


This week marks 20 years since Sense and Sensibility was released. The main cast includes –


Emma Thompson as Elinor – she also wrote the screenplay and won an Oscar for it, too!


Kate Winslet as Marianne – this movie was filmed two years before she got on Titanic.


Hugh Grant as Edward – Pre squidgy around the edges Hugh.


Gemma Jones as Mrs Dashwood – also known as Bridget Jones’s Mum.


The two love interests for Marianne could not possibly be any more different – Alan Rickman plays Colonel Brandon – Greg Wise plays Willoughby.


Other notable appearances – Robert Hardy as Sir John Middleton – I loved him as Siegfried in All Creatures Great And Small, too. Elizabeth Spriggs as Mrs Jennings. Harriet Walter as Fanny Dashwood – Hugh Laurie as Mr Palmer which was quite a surprise!

Adaptations of books can go either way – they can be very well done as this one was, or they can be completely changed and bear little resemblance to the book they were adapted from.

When an adaptation is well done, they can often add scenes which you begin to wish were originally placed in the book. In this movie there is a fantastic scene at the start where Edward and Elinor are trying to coax Margaret – a geography nut who loves her Atlas – out from a hiding place by placing rivers in completely wrong countries.


There were quite a lot of scenes added at the beginning to show the developing relationship between Edward and Elinor. You get an idea of how many of these scenes were added when you consider it took them 20 minutes for the first 20 *pages* of the book to be shown on screen.

This movie does remove one important scene from the book however it is not especially missed – the scene where Willoughby goes to speak with Elinor at the home of the Palmers while Marianne is very ill.

I think the highest compliment one can pay to a movie is to say there is nothing about it they would change if they could. I would not add anything, I would not remove anything. I would not put the Willoughby scene back in.

This particular movie is as close to perfect as any Austen adaptation has ever been – it is probably my favourite Austen movie because you must take Pride and Prejudice out of the running – that is a 6 part mini series, not a movie – I will not refer to that absolutely dreadful Keira Knightley movie version, as I prefer to forget that it exists. Apologies if you happen to like it. :)

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, this movie should be somewhere in your movie collection. :)

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13 thoughts on “Sense and Sensibility

    • I usually write posts about a month ahead – this one I wrote at the start of December. I picked out 12 or so movies that I wanted to write about this year, and I went checking the release dates to see if there were any anniversaries of release dates this year. Oddly though, I might have screwed up the scheduling here – this post should have been posted next week to coincide with the release date.. maybe it was fate or destiny or something.. :?

  1. I’m not a fan of Jane Austen, couldn’t get past page one and tossed her aside, so I’ve never seen this movie and have no interest in it, but I am sad about Alan Rickman.

    • I had never read the books at all, until I stumbled upon the BBC adaptation on the ABC in our hotel room in Sydney one night while my parents were moving to Tamworth. The very next day they had an appointment in the city to sign papers, and I went to a bookstore and picked up the very huge complete works of Jane Austen.

      I found the books excellent reading and really enjoyed them. I know them off by heart, and they are the books I turn to when I have to be up the next morning on time – they help me to sleep faster than anything else in my library because I don’t need to focus, I know them..

      The stories are timeless and the characters wonderful. I believe my favourite is presently Mansfield Park, but it shifts around once a year or so.. ;)

  2. RIP Alan Rickman. When I heard of his death I immediately thought of S&S but all the media talked about were his roles as bad guys in Die Hard. And I totally agree with you on the Keira Knightley mess of a film, so wrong on so many levels

    • He does a good bad guy, but Colonel Brandon will always be my favourite role of his. :) I am looking forward to seeing his role in Eye in the Sky with Aaron Paul and Helen Mirren. Thanks for dropping by my place and leaving a comment! ;)

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