Saturday, September 12, 2009
2008 Sense and Sensibility
Quite awhile ago I wrote a perfectly glowing review of the Emma Thompson "Sense and Sensibility. I went into a lot of detail about why I thought it such a well-made film and important story.
So why am I now reviewing another version of it?
The answer is quite simple. While I loved the Emma Thompson version...I fell in love with this one.
There is a fairly simple reason for this. When watching this version, I found for the first time that I not only genuinely liked proper Elinor and shy Edward - but I completely emphethized and understood their story. I loved them. They were young people of my own age, dealing with struggles similar to my own.
Emma Thompson, for all her brilliancy, is rather old. And Hugh Grant is just...awkward (and he's old too).
Hattie Morahan and Dan Stevens who play the young couple in this new version are both likeable and believeable as young people.
The other actors are quite good as well. I immensely enjoyed Marianne, Margaret, Mrs. Dashwood, Sir John, Wickham and the rest of the cast. Though not as prestigious as the Emma Thompson cast, they are nonetheless extremely good.
Fans of the A&E "Pride and Prejudice" will be delighted to learn that this "Sense and Sensibility" has the same screenwriter: Andrew Davies. Like that P&P, it follows the book well, expanding in ways that allow the story to breathe and live.
Of course, S&S has nearly fifteen years of technological gain on P&P, and is far more artistically creative and technically sound. (Focus! It has focus! It doesn't look like someone set up a home video camera in a living history museum!)
Also, the clothing is rather more attractive and colorful, allowing for more aethetically pleasing shots and easier distinguishing between characters.
On a bit of a cautionary note, the film opens with a tightly framed seduction scene that fans of the book will know plays a vital role later on. It's easy to fast forward through, but if you're watching this film with a younger audience, or gentlement, you will want to be careful.
Apart from that the film is quite Austen-ly appropriate. And it has a dueling scene. Hurrah!