When I lived in England for half a year I got to see the 2008 version of Sense & Sensibility when it was first aired on television. And since then I haven’t seen it again, not until a few days ago that is. Not because I didn’t like it, I did, but because I didn’t have it. But like I said, a few days ago I finally got around to watching it again, and I thought I’d write down some of my thoughts about the things I like and don’t like in the two newest adaptation of this story.
The Sense & Sensibility from 1995 is a bit of a favourite of mine. I really like it. But I also do like the newest one. In both there are things I like better than in the other, I’ll see if I can remember them.
First, I really think that both Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet did a wonderful job of portraying the characters! But the fact remains that Emma is in truth far too old to be playing Elinor! She doesn’t give the appearance of being 19, there it is. Now Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield did a lovely job too, but I just think that Emma and Kate are superior actresses.
I am very happy that they chose to include all the characters in the newest one! That they didn’t leave out Lady Middleton and her children, little Harry and Anne Steele like they did in the one from 1995. And Anne Steele was quite perfect! Just like I remember her from the book!
Sir John, Mrs. Jennings and Mr. and Mrs. Palmer I much prefer in the older one. They are just so much more entertaining in that one!
Out of the two Colonel Brandon’s I would choose David Morissey as I have never been a big fan of Alan Rickman’s version. I don’t know why, I just don’t like him there so much.
The costumes are lovely in both adaptations, but I think that I prefer the older one on this point.
I think it is interesting how in both these versions they have turned Margaret into a much more center character than she is in the book. Indeed, in the book she is hardly mentioned. And yet in both of these adaptations they have given her a bigger part. And I must say I get the impression that for the newer one they have more or less copied the Margaret from the other film. But I don’t really mind about that. I like the fact that she plays a bigger part actually.
Another character who is very similar in the two films, but not so much like he is in the book is Edward. In the book Edward is really shy, and not particularly funny as I recall. But in both the film versions he is funny. I actually prefer the Edward of the films; he is charming, funny and more endearing, though I feel I should be upset with them for changing him. But I’m not really…
And I have to say in the 2008 one; I loved the scene where Edward comes to see Elinor when she is in town and finds Lucy there! That was sooo good! Wonderfully played by Dan Stevens!
I also like how they included the part where Willoughby comes to Cleveland in the middle of the night and talks to Elinor. That is one of my favourite parts of the book and I was not happy that they didn’t include that in the other one. I like it so much because even if you can’t really forgive Willoughby for what he has done, at least you understand him better.
In the one from 2008 I don’t think you quite see how heartbroken Marianne really was over Willoughby. That comes out much clearer in the 1995 one. And you (at least that’s what I think) don’t get the impression either that she is really dangerously ill and dying.
As my dad pointed out, and I agree with him, in the older one you don’t quite get that Marianne marries Brandon for love. There you more get the impression that she marries him just because no one better happens to be around. So that was much better in the newer one. Because there you see how Marianne truly comes to love him, even though I think she got over Willoughby a little too soon for being Marianne.
And then the endings. In the 1995 one, the scene where Edward comes back and they discover that he is not married is just such an emotional one. Emma Thompson did a wonderful job there I think and you feel truly moved by it.
In the other one I very much like how they show Elinor’s and Marianne’s different “happily ever after’s”. It shows clearly their different personalities and how they are both so happy, in their own way. And besides, I enjoyed seeing Edward run around chasing chickens! 😛
So in the newer one I like that they have included so much more details. Minor characters and occurrences. But I think the older one is much more emotional. I feel more effected by it.
So final conclusion, I think both have a lot of good in them, and I can’t quite say that one is better than the other. 🙂