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Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD]
Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charity Wakefield
Offered by judithp1
Price: £4.99

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 11 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you have the least inclination to buy this, do! The DVD consists of three hour-long episodes, which feels just right - the pacing isn't rushed as it would be in a film, but nothing feels superfluous either.

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. He's not foolish, but is bound by honour, and unlike the rakish Willoughby, actually stands firm on it. Willoughby is another excellent choice. Dominic Cooper is effortlessly convincing as both a cad and a seducer, but also does a wonderful job of portraying a man falling in love almost against his will. Jean Marsh (of Upstairs Downstairs fame) is another delight as the domineering Mrs Ferrars. (As much as I admire both actresses, it is so nice to see these roles go to someone other than Dames Maggie Smith or Judi Dench.) Mark Gatiss dons a red wig and puts in a suitably oily performance as John Dashwood, and little Margaret Dashwood is a treasure to watch.

- Music. Costumes. Cinematography. All are outstanding.

An adaptation is more than just people saying the words, it's putting on a show, and that's done here to beautiful effect. It's a pleasure to immerse yourself in this world for a few hours. Here's hoping the BBC will give Jane's other works a look - it would be lovely to see them get such treatment. (Or even the Bronte sisters. I'd love to see something like Agnes Grey receive such a rendering.)

Put simply - it's a classic.

Upstairs Downstairs - Series 1 [DVD]
Upstairs Downstairs - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dame Eileen Atkins
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.63

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 24 Jun. 2011
Really enjoyable!

I wasn't familiar with the original series of Upstairs Downstairs, and hadn't heard much positive about the remake, so I was slightly nervous about watching this - but it far exceeded my expectations.

The cast and characters are both wonderful to watch, and the setting of the piece (1936) makes for some very interesting storylines, as does Hallam's position as a diplomat. The rise of fascism and the abdication crisis are addressed in thought-provoking ways, and the drama is no less compelling on a more personal scale - the strained relationship between Agnes and her mother-in-law is highly entertaining, and Sir Hallam's struggles personally and professionally are very well portrayed - on the one hand, a man torn between his mother and his wife, and on the other, a diplomat challenged and discomfited by the charged situation in Europe. If the series were to continue into the war years, his position could provide plenty of material to work with. Below stairs, things are just as enjoyable - every member of staff is a well-crafted character and a joy to watch, and the ensemble have an instant sense of family.

Visually the show is just stunning - the costumes and set are a feast for the eyes, and another reason the 30's setting proves such a joy.

The only disappointment is that the disc only contains three episodes! At an hour each you get plenty to watch, but I would still hope for a second series, as it seems a shame to leave it at this. The BBC is rumoured to have commissioned a further six episodes for 2012. I can only hope it's true. In the meantime I'll have to track down the original episodes to tide me over!

I'M Like a Virgin Losing a Child
I'M Like a Virgin Losing a Child
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 6 Mar. 2011
I bought this album a few months ago, and it's since become one of the most played items in my music library. I discovered this after becoming a huge fan of the band's second album, "Everything to Nothing", and expected a slight dip in quality coming from inexperience. I was way off. "Virgin" has actually become my favourite MO album, with a seemingly endless replay quality. Songs like "Now That You're Home", "Sleeper 1972", "Colly Strings", and "I Can Barely Breathe" sound just as good fifty plays later, while delicate songs like "I Can Feel Your Pain" and "Don't Let Them See You Cry" are still the ones I put on first when I want to unwind. This is anything but disposable music, and it's a real shame MO aren't better known - they deserve to be. A brilliant album from one of my favourite bands.

Everybody/Girls & Boys
Everybody/Girls & Boys
Price: £13.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 6 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Everybody/Girls & Boys (Audio CD)
Bought this album a few weeks ago and haven't stopped listening since! Ingrid is a talent I wish I'd discovered sooner, with a beautiful voice and melodies that really sink into your skin after a few listens. I've turned my mum and sister on to her too. If you've only heard one or two of Ingrid's songs and are undecided, do what I did and take the plunge. Two albums for £12 is a bargain however you look at it, and you won't be disappointed here.

Favourite songs include : The Chain, Soldier, Locked Up, Parachute, Die Alone, Masochist, and Corner of Your Heart.

And if you like what you hear here, then check out "Winter Song", her duet with Sarah Bareilles. Simply stunning.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2011 12:32 AM BST

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