“Sense and Sensibility” is a well-executed adaptation of Jane Austin’s first published novel. Between the stunning scenery, perfect casting, and director Ang Lee’s delicate treatment of the story, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood step right off of the page and into our hearts. As one might expect, the film moves a little slow but the story is so addictive that you won’t mind. The atmosphere of the English countryside is magic and the indoor shots of high class homes have a true transporting power; however, the true power of this story comes from unexpected surprises and the need to know what happens next. Emma Thompson is stunning as Elinor and it is easy to see why she received four Oscar nominations in the early 90’s. On top of her Best Actress nomination for this role, she won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. She is perfectly matched with Kate Winslet, who earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination. This was only Winslet’s second feature film role but it is easy to see the natural acting ability that has enabled her to be a significant presence in the film industry. These leading ladies deliver the rich dialogue in a flowing manner that makes it as beautiful to hear as it is to comprehend. The supporting characters are also well-cast, from the deep voice of Alan Rickman (Colonel Brandon) and the good looks of Greg Wise (Willoughby) to the character acting of Imelda Staunton (Charlotte) and a young Hugh Laurie. I did not care for Hugh Grant at first, but his delivery of Edward’s final dialogue brought a tear to my eye. I wouldn’t call myself a Jane Austin fan but this rendition of “Sense and Sensibility” has inspired me to look deeper into her world and experience more of her stories.
[Pictured: The film was destined to succeed with two leading ladies this good]