Sense and Sensibility 1995 Review

You’re all thinking “This is a book review blog, not a movie review blog.”  Yes, I know but I just watched S and S today and I couldn’t resist reviewing it.  Besides, it’s J.A. related.

First the synopisis from Wikipedia.

Mr. Dashwood dies, his wife and three daughters – Elinor, Marianne  and Margaret – are left with an inheritance consisting of only £500 a year, with the bulk of the estate of Norland Park left to his son John from a previous marriage. John and his greedy, snobbish wife Fanny immediately install themselves in the large house; Fanny invites her brother Edward Ferrars to stay with them. She frets about the budding friendship between Edward and Elinor and does everything she can to prevent it from developing.

Sir John Middleton, a cousin of the widowed Mrs. Dashwood, offers her a small cottage house on his estate, Barton Park in Devonshire. She and her daughters move in, and are frequent guests at Barton Park. Marianne meets the older Colonel Brandon, who falls in love with her at first sight. Competing with him for her affections is the dashing but deceitful John Willoughby, whom Marianne falls in love with. On the morning she expects him to propose marriage to her, he instead leaves hurriedly for London. Unbeknownst to the Dashwood family, Brandon’s ward is pregnant with Willoughby’s child, and Willoughby’s aunt Lady Allen has disinherited him.

Sir John’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings, invites her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, to visit. They bring with them the impoverished Lucy Steele. Lucy confides in Elinor that she and Edward have been engaged secretly for five years, thus dashing Elinor’s hopes of a future with him. Mrs. Jennings takes Lucy, Elinor, and Marianne to London, where they meet Willoughby at a ball. He barely acknowledges their acquaintance, and they learn he is engaged to the extremely wealthy Miss Grey; Marianne is inconsolable. The clandestine engagement of Edward and Lucy also comes to light. Edward’s mother demands that he break off the engagement. When he refuses, his fortune is taken from him and given to his younger brother Robert.

On their way home to Devonshire, Elinor and Marianne stop for the night at the country estate of the Palmers, who live near Willoughby. Marianne cannot resist going to see Willoughby’s estate and walks a long way in a torrential rain to do so. As a result, she becomes seriously ill and is nursed back to health by Elinor after being rescued by Colonel Brandon.

After Marianne recovers, the sisters return home. They learn that Miss Steele has become Mrs. Ferrars and assume that she is married to Edward. However, he arrives to explain that Miss Steele has unexpectedly wed Robert Ferrars and is thus released from his engagement. Edward proposes to Elinor and becomes a vicar, whilst Marianne falls in love with and marries Colonel Brandon.

Now for my thoughts:

For one thing this movie has a great musical score and beautiful scenery.

I know that Emma Thomson and Alan Rickman are too old for their respective roles but I don’t let that take away from the story, and frankly I couldn’t picture Elinor and Colonel Brandon any other way.  The script is true to the book, only slightly deviating from Jane Austen’s novel.  The story moves swiftly and is interesting.  Even my brothers (who claim to hate the J.A. films watched most of it with me).  Lucy Steele is easy to hate and so is Fanny Dashwood.

One of my most favorite parts is – the wedding!  Marianne and Colonel Brandon look so much in love and so happy with each other and so do Eleanor and Edward.  My sister’s favorite part in the entire movie is when Colonel Brandon tosses the coins into the air.  By the way, it was a tradition for the grooms to throw coins into the air, because it indicated how wealthy they are.  Naturally, you would expect Colonel Brandon, rather than Edward to toss coins into the air.

Overall this is a great movie to watch and enjoy and it’s my favorite Austen adaption.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.  

All my photos came from here.


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  1. #1 by IntrovertedAnalyst on 2011/12/20 - 1:26 AM

    Oh I LOVE this movie. So much. I actually think it improves on the Austen novel in some ways, such as actually showing Edward and Elinor and Brandon and Marianne interacting. The whole age thing never bothered me too much either; even though I’m normally a huge nit-picker when it comes to details like that. I think it was just because the actors were so good at what they did.

    • #2 by loverofausten on 2011/12/20 - 3:11 PM

      Thanks for your comment! S and S is a delightful book and I’m glad they made it into a movie. And I agree that the actors were spectacular.

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