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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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