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Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series  [DVD]
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David Morrissey, Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Mark Gatiss lead an all-star cast in Andrew Davies' romantic and stylish three-part BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility.
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Elinor, sensitive to social convention, struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?
From the pen of Andrew Davies, the man who's brought some of the finest literary adaptations to the small screen in recent years, comes the BBCs new take on Jane Austens Sense & Sensibility. Running across three episodes, it proves to be as much as a sumptuous treat as much of Davies' previous endeavours.
Austens story of the Dashwood sisters and a romance with John Willoughby is a familiar one (and it was realised quite brilliantly in Ang Lees film adaptation in 1996), and so its left to the super cast and terrific production values to convince audiences to dip into Sense & Sensibility again. Fortunately, the production delivers with consummate ease.
Much of the credit for Sense & Sensibilitys success lies in its excellent cast. David Morrissey, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Charity Wakefield are among the many strong performers, and theyre matched by equally impressive work behind the camera too. Theres an argument whether it manages to eclipse the 1996 filmed version (for which Emma Thompson took home an Oscar), but its perhaps to best see them as companion pieces. And truthfully, youre not going to be disappointed with either. Because once again, the BBC has brought further life to a tale told many times before, and its production of Sense & Sensibility is set to be enjoyed for many years to come. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
Charity Wakefield is a strikingly good actress, her portrayal of Marianne Dashwood makes that of Kate Winslet seem rather wooden. Wakefield exudes the natural, unaffected character of Marianne with so much depth that she truly lifts the heart and soul out of Austen's creation and is a joy to watch. Although Wakefield stands out in the cast, the other characters also are more 'real' and believable here. David Morrissey is a much more sympathetic Brandon, and you wonder how Marianne could ever have failed to fall in love with him at first sight. There is a really palpable sense of his having the same passionate, romantic nature as Marianne, which has been subdued by bitter past experience, only to be reawakened and eventually noticed by Marianne.
The settings, too, are sumptuously evocative. The cottage to which to Dashwoods move is no twee chocolate box cottage but a neglected, wind-swept house which combines the Romantic,desolate beauty of the wind swept Devonshire coast with the stark depiction of the poverty into which the family have descended, mirrored in Marianne's joy at her new surroundings and Elinor's practicality and concern at the challenges of their enforced new life. Add to the glorious scenery and excellent performances, the tempestuous and haunting music which permeates throughout, and you have a truly beautiful adaptation. One to keep and treasure.
Having seen the mini serie on TV I bought the DVD as in some way I hope to
support these kind of productions this way. But I am very disappointed as
scenes have been cut out from the DVD version. Why on earth is this necessary?
And why isn't there a note mentioning this? In future I better stick to my
recordings from TV.
Where to start with the good points of this adaptation? I'm sure I'll end up forgetting something, so let me start by saying that, in my opinion, this is the definitive version of Sense and Sensibility. I loved the 1996 film version, and am an avid Austen reader. But this adaptation trumps all, for me - yes, even the book. Note perfect in every way, I know I'll revisit it again and again, and only consider it a shame I waited so long to see it in the first place. With a screenplay by Andrew Davies and a showing on the Beeb, this deserves just as much admiration as their 1995 Pride and Prejudice, and is comparatively unknown. It's a real shame.
Alright then, the main selling points :
- Script. Wonderful. The characters are all well-drawn and likeable, and all the major relationships (Marianne and Wickham, Marianne and Brandon, Elinor and Edward) are given lots of time to develop. This is where the running time really trumps the film version. No character feels neglected, and even Fanny Dashwood and little Margaret get their fair share of screentime, something which really builds the sense of family.
- Casting. Again, excellent. The characters are cast younger than in the film, much closer to their ages in the book, and although I will admit to sorely missing Alan Rickman's Colonel Brandon, the characters are perfect. Marianne in particular perfectly aligns with my mental image of her, and Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars steers his character away from its occasional tendency to seem weak, and onto firmer ground.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this adaptation, it's as good as the original. The actors and actresses are good and bring it to life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Diane
I was a little bit unsure about getting this version as I had watched the Oscar winning film - on DVD - so many times and loved it so much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ann Weatherly
This is a lovely adaptation of the classic story with a few differences from the film version with Hugh grant but I loved it because of the actor playing Edward was non other than... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miss movie lover
Oh dear. The opening scene of a couple making love. Why? Poor Jane would be turning in her grave! I peservered after that, but some very poor acting had me struggling with it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by N