Monday, April 7, 2008

Masterpiece Theatre: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility has always held a special place in my heart. It was not only the first Austen novel that I ever read, but it (the '95 version) was also the first Austen adaptation that I ever saw. I was, therefore, rather skeptical when I sat down to watch the final installment in Masterpiece Theatre's rather lukewarm "The Complete Jane Austen" series. I really didn't think that they would be able to come anywhere close to the wonderful Emma Thompson adaption. I stand corrected. Bravo to Masterpiece Theatre for ending this series on a high note. While it is by no means perfect, it certainly makes a wonderful companion to the '95 version.

  • Hattie Morahan as Elinor. While I still love Emma Thompson, she always seemed a little too old to be playing the role of a 20 year old. Hattie brings youth back to the part and hits the nail on the head. BRAVO!
  • Dan Stevens as Edward Ferras. Much, much, much better than Hugh Grant. A reserved, calm yet charming young man instead of an awkward, confused guy. I also liked that it showed Edward's resilience in the face of his mother's anger.
  • David Morrissey as Colonel Brandon. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Alan Rickman's portrayal of this wonderful character. But not only is David younger, he also brings a more earthy feel to the character. I also liked how his relationship with Marianne was developed. Sure, the horse and hawk references were a little off, but I loved the "Come and find me when you are ready" line. *SIGH*
  • Elinor drinking Marianne's wine. Classic!
  • Anne Steele. LOL! What an idiot :-)
  • The dark and romantic tone of the film. It was a wonderful contrast to the bright and cheerful '95 version and probably a bit more realistic.


  • Charity Wakefield as Marianne. Whatever. I just could never feel any sympathy for her. She didn't seem to bring forth the same overwhelming passion that Kate Winslet did. The only thing that I liked was that she at least seemed to respect Col. Brandon in the beginning.
  • Dominic Cooper as Willoughby. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. This guy was not likable at all. What on earth did Marianne see in him? Even an idiot could see that Col. Brandon was the superior man. Greg Wise was charming and genuine. Dominic was sinister right from the beginning.
  • The Middletons & Mrs. Jennings. They were pretty bland if you ask me. In the '95 version they were comic relief. I think that they were supposed to be so in this version to, but they aren't.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Palmer. I WANT HUGH LAURIE!!! Enough said.
  • Lucy Steele. You never got the sense that she was the conniving gold-digger that she was supposed to be. You also couldn't quite figure out her relationship with Robert.
  • The first minute and a half. Completely unnecessary.

The 2 adaptations of this great story complement each other beautifully. I just might have to add the 2008 version to my collection. By the way, has anyone ever noticed that only Jane Austen fans have multiple versions of the exact same story?

Note: Since "The Complete Jane Austen" has now officially come to an end, I thought that I would rank the adaptations from my least favorite to my favorite.

#7. Persuasion- Though I love the story, this adaptation was just too rushed. Not to mention that ending.

#6 Mansfield Park- Loved Blake Ritson, but this was just a bare bones adaptation. It was okay, but it could have been done much better.

#5 Miss Austen Regrets- Thought provoking and wonderful acting. See my thoughts here.

#4 Northanger Abbey- Very good, even if Andrew Davies did spice it up a bit too much.

#3 Emma- Solid acting and storytelling, just needed a bit more humor and length.

#2 Sense and Sensibility- I loved it. A must see version of a classic story.

#1 Pride and Prejudice- If you don't see any other Austen adaption, see this one!

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