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When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and their three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried. Written by
Excellent period piece, well adapted and with a witty script and fine performances.
This is a remarkable film that does a very good job of depicting a rigid and quite hidebound society that often made India's caste system look reasonable and moderate by comparison. One of the more enjoyable points for me was the fact that the "sense and sensibility" of the title had a most definite 19th Century feel and yet still remains very timeless and does not attempt to force Twentieth Century mores (probably by use of a crowbar) into a script where they do not belong. Modern day viewpoints do not belong here. If you want a modern day version, fine. But it would be, at best, only a glancing and quite loose adaptation of the novel, so why do an adaptation at all, then? Not all films have to reflect present day sensibilities. This is a very human and compelling story with a fine cast and wonderfully witty script. Look for a very dry and understated performance by Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer, the long-suffering husband of the daughter of Mrs. Jennings. Were I Mr. Palmer, I'd have long since invested in earplugs or opened a vein. Very fine film and most highly recommended.
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