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Sense and Sensibility
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sense and Sensibility More at IMDbPro »

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113 out of 128 people found the following review useful:

A subtle masterpiece

10/10
Author: amadore80 from Copenhagen, Denmark
27 February 2001

I saw this movie in a cinema back in 1996 and since that June I have seen it about a dozen times. It is true, that being an ardent lover of the so-called Romantic (as if the 13th century couldn't be Romantic or 17th, but these things are academic nonsense) period I can enjoy even minor pieces of period cinema, however this is most probably the best film set in the early 19th century. Although it centers on the relationship of the two sisters and their respective romantic relationships, it also seems to be a salute to the period itself in its precise description of the English country society. It is truthful to Jane Austen's novel, but Emma Thompson's script is fine in its own right, with many omissions and additions to the novel. The acting is superb, Kate Winslet as the typical Romantic dreamer (sensibility) is breathtaking (try not to be moved when her character wanders in the rain to see the house of her beloved and when she whispers half-deranged: 'Willoughby, Willoughby, Willoughby.') is perfect as is Emma Thompson as the rational but equally tormented older sister(sense). Greg Wise is perfect as the dashing semi-Byronic hero Willoughby and Allan Rickman as the mellow Brandon. To say nothing of the art direction, the music or the fantastic image composition. I would recommend everyone with some sort of emotional subtlety to see this film, for the story, the wit, the period and the imagery.

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99 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

A classic for all time.

10/10
Author: Hermit C-2 from Marietta, GA, USA
18 May 1999

Whoever says they just don't make the quality of pictures today that they used to hasn't seen or is ignoring this film.

That Emma Thompson is one of the greatest actresses working is no secret. But who would have expected such a miracle from her in the screenwriting department? Some of the most dramatic moments in 'Sense and Sensibility' come from her pen, not Jane Austen's, difficult as that may be to believe. For instance, the scene in which Col. Brandon (Alan Rickman) carries in the ill Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet), echoing the earlier scene where Willoughby (Greg Wise) brought the injured young woman home was Thompson's doing. Marianne's illness also is responsible for much more drama in the movie than in the book. And I'm an Austen fan! I can't recall another writer bringing so much good of his or her own to a classic like this.

I suppose the director, cinematographer, production designer, etc. deserve to share the credit when a movie is this outstanding, but with such a super group of actors on the screen (from top to bottom) it's easy to heap all the praise on them. I had unconsciously (and unfairly) pigeonholed Alan Rickman based on the other role I'd seen him in, the villain in 'Die Hard,' so he was quite a surprise to me. The real bombshell, however, was my first exposure to Kate Winslet. After seeing this movie and Kenneth Branagh's 'Hamlet' I can say I can't remember another young actress who has impressed me so much. And she played these difficult roles by the time she was 20! Many of the other cast members are a part of an excellent group that Thompson and Branagh have often worked with in the past.

I realized that 'S&S' had become one of my all-time favorite movies when I found myself watching it every chance I got when it came on TV. I think it's bumped 'Raging Bull' off my personal top 10 list.

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89 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

one word: wow.

10/10
Author: clarific from United States
10 January 2005

This is a truly great movie. It is one that I can watch over and over, yet can never seem to get enough of! Kate Winslet is gorgeous, Emma Thomson is inspiring, and Hugh Grant shines in this unforgettable film. I have always loved a good movie; one i can sink into and fall in love with the characters. I feel that Sense and Sensibility presents all these things to the audience. There is love, heartbreak, humour and great music. (my applause to Kate Winslet for her unforgettable versions of "Weep You No More Sad Fountains" and "The Dream" ...so beautiful.) If you have not seen this movie, please go RIGHT now to rent it...or even ADD it to your video library! I must say it is well worth it! And if you have seen it. ....you know what i mean.

Brava! Brava! Bravo!

Here are some other movies of this sort that i think this type of audience may enjoy:

Pride and Prejudice. starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Emma. starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam.

Ever After. starring Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott.

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63 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Very good adaptation.

10/10
Author: Daniel Robinson (pma97dr@sheffield.ac.uk) from Sheffield England
30 November 2000

This is one of the best of the recent Jane Austen films, from one of her weaker books. Emma Thompson has done a fine job of the script, not slavishly remaining faithful to the book but not abandoning it either.

The cast are uniformally excellent. I especially liked Kate Winslet's Marianne and Alan Rickman's Brandon. Emma Thompson's performance is almost good enough to make you forget that she is far to old for the part. The supporting cast are all excellent.

Ang Lee's direction shows the same skill that it did in the excellent Eat Drink Man Woman and the scenery and costumes are beautiful (perhaps too beautiful).

This is more romantic and less comic than say Emma, and Thompson's script wisely stays away from the kind of set-piece gags seen in the recent film of Emma. All in all, this is excellent.

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62 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

jaded seniors

10/10
Author: sharkey197 from United States
9 August 2005

It's not easy to get seniors to do anything, even watch a movie and when you mention Jane Austen, they zone out. Yet each year when we do this film in class, about 80 percent end up loving it and that includes the guys. It's wonderful to watch them respond to the characters and get into a film that is so "talky" when they have been used to high action. To hear the girls call Willoughby a jerk and applaud Brandon at the end is great, but to listen to the boys comment on the behavior of the various characters is even better. How they respond to a society so filled with strict manners and codes of behavior also makes this film worthwhile and it generates much discussion about the importance of money in life; well, even Thompson in the commentary said the film is about money, who has it and who does not. I love showing this film to my students; after the groans when I start it on the first day, it's wonderful to hear their comments on day five when we finish. As one senior male said this year, "I wouldn't have rented this or wanted to see it, but now that I have, I admit it was pretty good, so I'm glad you showed it." This is why they are classics, kiddies.

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52 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Emma Can Break Your Heart

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
17 February 2006

Wow, here's an emotional story that gets you involved and wears you out by the end. I wears you out not from action, but from watching two good ladies suffer heartbreaks one after the other. This is not my normal viewing fare but I am big fan of two things this movie has to offer: (1) Emma Thompson and (2) incredible visuals.

Few people were better in the 1990s at playing the sensible-sweet-wholesome and pretty and-always unfairly ignored woman than Thompson (see The Remains Of The Day and Howards End). Your heart aches for this woman whose characters always deserve better than what they receive.. Her facial expressions alone convey pain better than anyone I've ever seen on film. This is perhaps her best work and it was justice she was honored for it.

It was refreshing to see Alan Rickman actually place a nice guy and Kate Winslet was appealing, too - a far cry from spoiled brat role in the film that gave her stardom, Titantic.

One tip that I found useful in watching this movie. If you are not British, you might switch on the English subtitles to better understand the dialog and the phraseology of early 19th century England, in which this story takes place.

The only problem with using the subtitles is that it detracts from marveling at these visuals. This is one of the prettiest films I have ever seen, on both the inside and outside scenes. It's just gorgeous cinematography frame after frame with beautiful colors. Nice music score, too.

This kind of story is a bit too soap opera-like for my normal tastes but to watch Thompson and to ogle the colors, sets and scenery makes it all a rewarding experience. For women who like these kind of Jane Austen stories, this must really be a special film. For the rest of us, it's still very much worth seeing, and adding to one's DVD collection. It''s great film-making.

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57 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

I saw it four times in two days

Author: jitkapw from Czech Republic
17 June 2004

After seeing Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth I wouldn't expect myself to like another JA adaptation so much, but I confess I did. P&P stays my favourite but S&S is very close.

I can't agree with some of the comments that Hugh Grant wasn't proper for Edward Ferrars. Yes, maybe his age didn't match Emma Thompson's exactly but I think he acted wonderfully. His speech especially and stiff walk. I loved the scenes at the beginning where he made friends with Margaret Dashwood and played with her. It was so sweet.

My favourite, however, was definitely Colonel Brandon! I think Alan Rickman was just perfect for that role. I've seen him only as professor Snape in the first Harry Potter film, so I can't compare very much but I would say he is a great actor. I love his voice (especially when he says "What can I do? Give me some occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.), love his intonation and how he cares for Marianne so tenderly and patiently even though she turns her back on him. You can see the suffering in his eyes!

I first read the book and didn't like it much but after seeing the film I'll reread it. I highly recommend JAusten's books to anyone who hasn't read them yet and likes JA's adaptations.

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72 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Could you possibly ask for more?

10/10
Author: Lilith-20 from Sweden
21 January 2001

This is my all time favourite adaption of one of the best novels ever made. And since it's filled with my favourite actors and actresses (except from Hugh Grant, of course...) I was pretty exalted about seeing it for the first time.

Now I've seen it like ten times and I find more and more to love about it. Emma Thompson should have a thousands oscars for her beautiful deeds in this film, not only as an excellent actress but also as the one who changed the novel to a script. she's done everything right. and could Ang Lee possibly have found any better actors for the parts? I really doubt. Kate Winslet is stunning as Marianne, the wild, strong girl who got full attention from two very special men. Hugh Grant gives us the usual performance of a nervous, very English guy (please, could someone give him a different part, at least once!) but I forgive him in this lovely film however. and Alan Rickman- he's just wonderful! He gives Brandon the right amount of sadness, tenderness and love- and sweeps anyone of their feet just by being in the scene. And God, that voice! Why on earth would Marianne chose anyone else but him?

Emma Thompson is probably the best actress ever. I adore her. Her performance is brilliant. She's brilliant. The whole film is so brilliant!

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40 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

A true story of family, friends, sisterhood, heartbreak, and love

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
4 October 2005

I found "Sense and Sensibilty" to be one of the most charming movies I have seen since "Finding Neverland". It has a very warm feeling and is very welcoming. The story is absolutely beautiful. In the 1990's, all of Jane Austen's huge novels were made into movies and some even in television series. Most of them were very good, but Sense and Sensibility really stood out and was the best. Most thanks to Emma Thompson and her brilliant screenplay, which was also her first. Kudos to her, she seems like a fine and intelligent woman. I found out that this screenplay took her about 4 years to have the final draft done. She also couldn't translate some of the novel into the book so she took some of Austen's letters and put them into the movie.

The acting is absolutely on key and all of the actors fit quite well into their roles. I enjoy period pieces thourelly, if you don't, you might want to skip it. But I would recommend this picture any day. It's very beautiful and a wonderful movie to watch. It has some of the finest British actors: Allen Rickman, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant. So give it a chance, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

10/10

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36 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Excellent period piece, well adapted and with a witty script and fine performances.

9/10
Author: Robert Reynolds (minniemato@hotmail.com) from Tucson AZ
15 August 2003

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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