Grade A+

Adapted from one of Jane Austen’s most popular novels, the BBC mini-series “Sense And Sensibility” is an Austen fan’s dream come true.  It is a romantic and often heart wrenching story of a family of four women (a mother and her three unmarried daughters) who have lost their financial security when the father dies and all his property, by law, is given to the son from a previous marriage.   The women are forced out of their home — palace is more like it —  and into a small cottage and learn to make do with what little they have left.

All is not bleak.  The eldest daughter — played by Hattie Morahan — has found love with a man who fits her perfectly…but for some mysterious reason does not convey to her his true feelings.  As for the middle daughter, who is played by Charity Wakefield, she is wooed by a kind, generous, loving, older man (played by David Morrissey) whom she does not desire.  What Wakefield seeks instead is the youth and charm of a man closer to her age, a man whose past may force his hand into ruining Wakefield.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Sense And Sensibility” is the scene when a heartbroken Wakefield is being comforted by Morahan.  In her grief, Wakefield yells at her sister that Morahan knows nothing of heartache.  Morahan, who at this point in the movie has suffered great emotional pain in silence, is completely stunned at her sister’s insensitive and ignorant remark.

At three hours long, this is a relatively short mini-series, and for most Austen fans, is probably too short.  For me, the three hours felt less than two, and this is owed to Austen’s great story, Andrew Davies’ great screenplay adaptation, John Alexander’s masterful direction, and the amazing acting of the lead actors, especially that of Morahan and Wakefield.

 

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