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