Thursday, February 26, 2015

All Jane Austen part 3

Sense and Sensibility:

The 1995 version starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.

plot: The Dashwoods have their world torn apart when their father dies, leaving them nearly penniless, and their half-brother moves his family into their house. With no choice but to move in with a widowed uncle and his mother in law; the four women find themselves at a disadvantage. Having to adjust to a new status in life, their prospects for marriage is lessened. Elinor and Marianne, both attract love, but from very different ends of the coin. One will get her heart broken because she is too free, while the other will have her heart broken because she's too proper.

The original book was written in 1811.

This is my favourite version of it as much for Emma Thompson's vision of Elinor as anything else. Though I have to admit, I am more of a Marianne then Elinor.

The younger sister, Marianne, is the wild child uncaring who thinks what of her. And ends up falling in love with Mr. Willoughby, who we learn as the movie progresses, has a nasty reputation for seducing young girls and leaving them pregnant. Which, for that era was the worst thing that could happen.  We -the viewers- are led to believe that his feelings for Marianne are in fact honest, but because of his past actions; he's forced to marry someone else for their money.  (a running theme in a few of the Austen novels)
Marianne ends up following Willoughby to London, and in her single-mindedness, ends up embarrassing her family publicly.  She then becomes so depressed, she almost dies.
Marianne soon discovers she's in love with Colonel Brandon, an older gentleman who lives on the property next to theirs. 

While all this is going on, Elinor falls in love with Mr. Edward Farris. The older of two brothers she meets through her sister in law.  Their courtship is considered to be a cute little summer flirtation by their sister in law, at first. But after awhile, they are separated by devious means. During which time, we learn that Edward Farris has been secretly engaged to Lucy Steele.
Miss Steele is more then aware of Elinor, and sets out to mark her territory, starting up a fake friendship with Elinor. Reminding her every chance she has that Edward is engaged to her, and the only reason they haven't married yet is because she's even poorer then the Dashwoods.  Edward's family soon discover the engagement, and disown him leaving him penniless.
Miss Steele then starts an affair with the other Farris brother marrying him now that he has all the family money. 
This opens up Edward to marry Elinor who does no care he's poor.

The movie focuses on the two sisters, leaving the mother and youngest daughter just in the sidelines.
But as much as this is a love story, it's also as movie about faith in others, manners, following your heart, and trust. Both of the two sisters find their hearts in two opposite ways. The younger of them, casting off any sort of ethical (for the time) display of public ego. While the older, holds back maybe too much.
Half the supporting characters are there for background noise, such as the constantly meddling-gossip Mrs. Jennings.

I'm going to end this one here, because even though I've seen this about a hundred times in the last twenty years, it makes me cry every single time and now I've got a headache.

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