Jane Austen's Tortured Love Classic

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Sense and Sensibility is one of Jane Austen's best novels, the 1995 film version truly does her work honor. The director Ang Lee use's a deft touch and brings out the best of the novel.

Emma Thompson's screenplay brings Jane Austen's novel to life, with finesse and capturing the best dialogue adding life to some memorable scenes. We also get the treat of seeing her in one of the leading roles. As a newer admired of Jane Austen's novels, I think this is the best remake of the classics. This is not the usual dry , stuffy fare usually offered up by the Brits.

The plot revolves around the Dashwood family who have just lost their father, Mr. Dashwood. Set in Victorian England the family is at the mercy of the eldest son of his father's second wife, John. John promises his dying father on his death bed to provide for the family. His wife Fanny then proceeds to whittle away at the endowment.

The movie subtle overtones of the womens plight helps to understand the fate of women of the times. Their living is entirely dependent on their fathers, brothers or husbands generosity and station in life. Women of the time only hope was to marry well. The marriage market and the pursuit of fortune is highlighted by some of the dismal unions portrayed. Love was not usually an option.

Ang Lee had the benefit of fine leading actors and supporting cast to aid in creating his vision. Emma Thompson's Elinor (Miss Dashwood) is one of her best roles. Her excellent performance as the dutiful, rule bound Elinor is the subtle anchor for this film.

Kate Winslet's (Marianne Dashwood) portrayal of the sweet and free spirited Marianne is energetic and brings effervescence to the role. Her bewildering attachment to Mr. Willoughby's charms and subsequent rejection is a driving force for the film.

The plot continues with Jane Austen's usual convoluted relationships and failures and eventual triumphs will keep you mesmerized.

Hugh Grant, believe or not, takes leave of his usual fluff roles, and gives credibility to his role as Edward Ferrars, a man a means. He plays Edward with a shy understated quality that brings life to his awkward character. You will find him compelling as Elinor's found then lost love interest.

Hugh Laurie ,of Dr. House fame, takes leave of usual comedic roles and delivers a fine performance. Hugh portrays Mr. Palmer an aristocrat that married for money. You will cringe at the interplay with his wife. He knows full well of the dark side of his marriage of convenience.

I must mention Alan Rickman's superb acting as Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon's character is the glue that holds all the plot lines together, and I wish he appeared more on screen. Colonel Brandon has the bad luck of courting Marianne when the dashing Mr. Willoughby appears and dashes his chances. Alan Rickman's portrayal of the honorable, kind and thoughtful Colonel, shows off the mastery of his chosen craft. I would like to have seen the proposal scene for his long unrequited love, I feel the films only missed opportunity.

This version of Sense and Sensibility will capture your imagination, and yes, you be rooting for your favorite character. You will be thankful for the fine talent of this memorable cast. You also will appreciate the artistry of Jane Austen in weaving a romantic web of disappointments and eventual triumphs. You too may even shed a tear at the climatic joyous conclusion. And if you are alone at present, Jane's message of hope, may cause you to long for romance to enter your life. There is always hope.

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Occupation: Freelance Writer

Dirk Bristol is a freelance writer with varied interests. One interest is a passion with movies. The author is a traffic school and health expert. You can check out his latest new website Buy DVD Player and see the best selection of Kids DVD Player available.

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