When Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) 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 (Dame Emma Thompson), Marianne (Kate Winslet), and Margaret (Emilie François), in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant), his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs) tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby (Greg Wise) more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried.Written by
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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