Watching Sense and Sensibility

Friday night, AVH tolerated my intermittent commentary and watched the Emma Thompson adaptation of Sense and Sensibility with me. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed it. The adaptation of this very long and tedious novel was extraordinarily done, keeping all the major plot points and adding just enough extras to make up for some of the things Austen left out of the novel (ahem, a certain engagement scene).

I have a few thoughts though:

  • Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars did nothing to convince me that he and Elinor were a great match. Maybe I’m too much like Marianne but I wanted to see a certain indescribable spark of chemistry on screen. Just a touch of romance underneath the surface.
  • I felt even more, after watching the film, that Marianne wilted at the end of the story. It didn’t come across to me as growing up, but resigning herself to a tolerable life. And while this was probably very much the case in many real scenarios, I just felt sad for her at the end.
  • The secondary characters (particularly Margaret, Mrs. Jennings, and Mr. Palmer) were delightful!
  • Emma Thompson is flawless and was indeed a perfect Elinor, just as I expected.
I know many people love Sense and Sensibility and I don’t wish to take that away from anyone. I think I’ve been spoiled by my immersion in two other Austen novels: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. I intend to write much more about my love of Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse as I launch into those titles. I’ll just say that my literary preferences were formed in my youth and that is likely why I did not connect with Sense and Sensibility in the same way.
For most of the summer, I’ve felt like I have so much time to get through Austen, but it turns out that my three months will expire on September 8th – and that is only 47 days from now! I started Pride and Prejudice again last night and intend to finish that this week and then read Death Comes to Pemberley while traveling this weekend. There is much reading yet to be done and I haven’t even started my historical research or touched any criticisms! August will necessarily be an Austen-heavy month (and this means I should probably stop buying other books).

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