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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Comfort Film - And A Glorious English Romance!
Some people have comfort food to help them through dull, drizzly evenings. I have comfort films, and Ang Lee's, (and Emma Thompson's), "Sense And Sensibility" is one of my favorites. I have watched this movie several times since I first saw it, and it never fails to lift my spirits.
This glorious romance of mores and manners, set during England's Regency Period, is...
Published on 16 Feb 2005 by Jana L. Perskie

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing
I found this Blue ray transfer pleasing, however darker scenes don't do much justice for the HD aspect, not well defined, this production is 1995, the transfer is fair to average, outdoor scenes scrub up well,the audio level on DTS is low, having to crank my amplifier up to a lot higher level is required to get audible dialogue, its just not in the same the league of say...
Published 17 months ago by Geoffrey Dixon


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor young ladies seek moneyed gents. All offers considered., 21 Nov 2002
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
A couple of weeks back, I saw the 1996 A&E production of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Putting my "real man" self image at extreme risk, I admitted publicly that I enjoyed this most excellent film immensely. Pushing reputation even closer to the edge, I viewed the 1995 release of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY last weekend. (I need something to watch while doing the ironing.) The theme of both films seems to be "anxious females seek Princes Charming to rescue them from rural spinsterhood", which, on the knowledgeable authority of a good friend and Jane Austen obsessive, is common to all of the author's works. Feminists may cringe at that generalization, but there wasn't much in the way of bra-burning in the first decade of the 19th century when Austen was busy scribbling.
S&S opens at the side of Mr. Dashwood's deathbed, at which point he's leaving his entire estate to his son John (James Fleet) in conjunction with the latter's promise to financially provide for his half-sisters, Elinor (Emma Thompson), Marianne (Kate Winslet) and Margaret (Emilie Francois). Subsequently, though John gives lip service to generous support of his siblings, he's easily dissuaded by his selfish wife, Fanny (Harriet Walter). Soon, the three Dashwood sisters and their mother are tossed out of their Great House to live in a (rather large) cottage on a cousin's estate. With no dowries to back them up, the two eldest, Elinor and Marianne, are left to Fate and their own charms to attract men of means to wed. So, Elinor may or may not be favored by the younger of Fanny's brothers, Edward (Hugh Grant). And Marianne is adored by the socially awkward Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), but she only has doe eyes for the dashing Willoughby (Greg Wise). It's such a puzzle.
My opinion of S&S suffers from having previously seen P&P. It's difficult to be fair since the latter is by far and away the richer and more humorous presentation. Emma Thompson is, however, superb as the sensible sister who, while dealing with her own turmoil of the heart, must support the feelings-driven Marianne as the latter careens from one emotional extreme to the next. Alan Rickman is marvelous as the suitor tortured by the demons of unrequited love. On the other hand, I wasn't quite so impressed with Grant as Edward, who was painfully ill at ease in the presence of adult women. (A deer caught in the high beams comes to mind.) Normally, the unassuming shyness of Grant's roles is appealing, but this time it was a bit over the top. Either that or his Georgian-era shorts were bunched and his collar too tight. And because P&P is over twice as long as S&S, the script of the former could afford to include some minor personalities of cleverly done eccentricity. The costuming and choreography in S&S seemed a realistic depiction of the times, but I'm as poorly equipped to adjudicate now as I was for the same elements of P&P. One thing I can judge, though, is the English countryside that's like no other that I've enjoyed. Towards the end, there was the panoramic view of a wind-rippled, grassy valley sloping down to the sea, probably in Devonshire. I was so "homesick" that I teared just a trifle.
Because the pace of the story caused me to doze off for a couple of brief moments, I can't in good conscience award more than four and one-half stars. The review system of this site will round it up.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL movie, 1 Feb 2004
This is a perfectly made movie from beginning to end, I have never seen anything so flawless! Emma Thompson's screenplay is already fantastic in itself (as there are about 4 or 5 lines from Austen in it, yet it feels as if all the words were her own!), and the acting can only positively contribute to this.
The greatest strength of the film is its ability to preserve and communicate the subtleties of women's life two centuries ago, of human feelings, of passion and reserve, and of wit and irony which are so essential in Austen's books. The movie - in spite of the happy ending - is, therefore, a rather profound piece of work, which shows a great deal of devotion to it on the part of those involved in its making. Every detail (scenery, costumes, period "accessories", etc.) is carefully considered and is an integral part of the whole, so one watching it really has the feeling of being carried back to the turn of the 18/19th centuries.
And there is an ultimate dreamcast - with everybody seeming to live up to all expectations: Emma Thompson playing Elinor is superb as ever, wonderful at hiding but also at communicating her feelings through mimic and gestures. I think the contrast between her character and Marianne's (Kate Winslet) is really successfully presented on the screen, just like that between Edward (Hugh Grant) and Willoughby (Greg Wise), or Col Brandon (Alan Rickman) and Willoughby. (Only that Alan Rickman, let's admit it, is quite a desirable alternative even to Willoughby, right from the beginning...:)) And Elizabeth Spriggs as Mrs. Jennings! Exactly I imagined while reading the book!
Above all this, the DVD has nice extras, Emma Thompson's Golden Globe speech is just as a "must-see" as the movie itself (further proof she CAN write), the audio commentaries are both funny and revealing at the same time, while the trailers (Little Women, Remains of the Day) present some other films quite worthy to see.
In one word, Sense and Sensibility is "beautiful", and it will for sure enchant even teenagers who might not care much for classics otherwise. Actually, I think it will enchant anybody regardless of age - just another merit of the many.
Buy and see it several times! :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational, 10 Nov 2007
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I must admit I was put off watching this for many years because I have never been a fan of Emma Thompson, Kate Winslett or Hugh Grant and the fact that all three were in it was a definite turn off. I finally watched it one rainy windy afternoon when there was nothing worth watching on tv and was captivated. Fine acting, fine script, beautiful costumes, wonderful settings - well worth watching and I'm sorry I didn't do so sooner. One of the few examples of a film living up to the book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Adaptation, 6 May 2007
By 
Jon D "Jon in France" (South Vendée, France) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This film serves as a really good example of how a lengthy (well, about 260 close typed pages in the edition we have) classic novel can be condensed into feature film length without losing the essence and spirit of the original. Emma Thompson's screenplay should serve as a model for anyone attempting a similar project.

The story is of the path to marriage of the Dashwood sisters (Elinor & Marianne), a somewhat rocky road that ultimately shows that the ostensibly very different characters of the girls (one passionate, the other level-headed and practical) are remarkably similar. The tale explores the world of upper class manners and the overriding importance of money and status in the early 19th century with considerable wit and insight.

Purists might point out many deviations from the original text. For example, the role of Margaret Dashwood is much amplified in the film and Sir John Middleton (presumably unhappily for him) becomes a widower, but these changes serve very well to assist to narration of the story. Equally, the final proposal scene (which Austin herself glosses over) is considerably played up - possibly to the extent of being the only corny moment in the film. But these, I think, would be minor criticisms.

Thompson succeeds in keeping closely to the spirit of the book by ensuring that other important themes are preserved. For example, the socially rigid, penny-pinching, selfish behaviour of John & Fanny Dashwood is contrasted beautifully with the generosity of spirit of Mrs Jennings, easily their equal in terms of wealth and consequence, albeit from a far humbler origin. The difference in character between the two Ferrars brothers is well portrayed and the capricious, scheming nature of Lucy Steele comes across nicely.

Those seeking an adaptation even closer to the book might look at the longer 1981 BBC version, though I would say that the Thompson version benefits considerably from improved production techniques, particularly good casting (though, I hasten add, the 1981 version is in no way poorly cast) and a much bigger budget.

Excellent and definitely worth five stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sense and Sensibility- Brilliant, 20 Dec 2002
By 
J. Gray (Riyadh Saudi Arabia) - See all my reviews
Film productions of classic novels are very popular at the moment. Sense and sensibilty is one of the better ones. It is well produced and the actors portray the true feeling of the film. Emma Thomson is wonderful and Hugh Grant plays his part very well, with just enough shyness and embarrassment to make his character so lovable. Set in some beautiful countryside, it touches on subjects that many of us can relate to; pride, greed, unrequited love, and with all of this, a happy ending! For the true romantic it is a must to watch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation, 4 April 2007
By 
Gem (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This film is a joy to watch. As with any adaptation of a classic novel, characters have been omitted, scenes altered and new scenes written. A truly talented production team will make changes which do not detract from the spirit of the novel but changes which serve to transfer the spirit of the novel and its characters to the screen. Emma Thompson (as screenplay writer) and her committed and talented team have brought this Austen novel to life on the screen in a stylish and dynamic way which shows their affection and respect for this novel.

The cast are outstanding, especially Thomson and Kate Winslet. Special mention also has to go to Elizabeth Spriggs who is terrific as Mrs. Jennings.

An excellent adaptation of a classic novel.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth getting the DVD, 30 Oct 2003
By 
Firstly, for anyone getting the DVD - it's worth it for the extras, particularly if you like the feature commentaries as I do. There are 2 - one with Ang Lee the other with Emma Thompson and another woman which I like the best (gives you all the trivia and inside story).
In terms of the film itself, it's a brilliant adaptation. I would recommend this to anyone unfamiliar with Austen's work as an introduction. It also made me want to read the book again, which I did with different eyes, so's to speak. The characters are magnificently portrayed - well done to whoever cast them. The Dashwood sisters Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet along with the young girl who played Margaret have a great on screen chemistry. Greg Wise is a very dashing Willoughby; Hugh Grant is more inarticulate but endearing as Edward Ferrers than he was in 4Weddings!! Alan Rickman demonstrates that he can still play a romantic, soft hearted man of integrity as Col Brandon. Add to this the comedy aspect of Robert Harris and the "other Mrs Dashwood" and bring in another talented actress - Gemma Jones - as the senior Mrs Dashwood and you've pretty much got an all star cast who compliment one another superbly.
A must have for any DVD collector
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Film, 9 Jan 2009
By 
Trenthamfolk (Staffordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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So there i was, an 18 year old lad taking his new bird to the cinema. I'd never even heard of Jane Austin, let alone read one of her books, and there I was, on the front row, watching this!! Oh dear.

An after about 2 minutes I was totally sucked in... Arrrgggghhhh..... help.... and here I am, 14 years down the road, married to the same girl, and an ardent Jane Austin fan.

Any film that can turn a spotty, beer obsessed, 18 year old 'boy' into a hopeless romantic and fan of English literature has to be a worth it's weight in gold. Thank you Emma Thompson, Ang lee, and the rest... I love this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense and Sensibility blue ray, 2 July 2013
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Have watched this DVD regularly and the picure is certainly enhanced in blue ray. I consider is worth the further expenditure. The scenery is paramount to this film and the costumes, really enjoyable
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific movie, great Blu-ray release!, 6 May 2013
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This is a charming and delightful film with rich characters and story. The cast including Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, and Hugh Grant is great. Thompson's Oscar-winning screenplay is a masterful adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, and Ang Lee's understated direction is superb.

The picture quality of this disc is solid. The transfer looks like an older scan to my eyes and displays good sharpness and strong colors. Some mild filtering and ringing is present, but nowhere near excessive. Grain and finer detail aren't reproduced as well as they would be on a newer remaster, but this a very satisfying presentation and a notable improvement over the ancient DVD nevertheless. Audio is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.0 and sounds good to my ears (though I'm not much of an audiophile).

Moving on to the extras, this Blu-ray includes the following (I'm listing them since they're not listed on the back cover):

"Adapting Austen" (11 min)
"A Sense of Character" (8 min)
"A Very Quiet Man" (12 min)
"Locating the World of Sense & Sensibility" (5 min)
"Elegance & Simplicity: The Wardrobe of Sense & Sensibility" (4 min)
2 Deleted Scenes

The 5 featurettes were produced in 2009 for Sony and to my knowledge have not appeared on any DVD release. These featurettes do not include new interviews with the film's talent. Instead, comments are culled from old on set interviews with the cast & crew. These have been upconverted & cropped to 16x9 and intercut with behind the scenes footage, stills, and film clips. The subject of each is mostly self explanatory, although "A Very Quiet Man" focuses on Ang Lee. Overall, these are well-produced featurettes that offer a good overview of the production, but I would've liked to hear new comments from Thompson, Winslet, Lee, and others. 2 deleted scenes from the DVD releases round out the extras and are presented in letterboxed widescreen and run for a total of 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

Fans of the film will want to hold onto their DVD copies which include several significant extras not ported over for this Blu-ray edition. These include 2 commentaries (the first by writer/star Emma Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran, and the second by director Ang Lee and co-producer James Schamus), Emma Thompson's Golden Globe acceptance speech, and the film's theatrical trailer.

Overall, I definitely recommend this release. As an American who was tired of waiting for Sony to release this in the States, this disc is completely region free and well worth importing!
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Sense And Sensibility [DVD] [1996]
Sense And Sensibility [DVD] [1996] by Ang Lee (DVD - 1998)
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