Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Sense and Sensibility BBC version

July 13th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I borrowed Sense and Sensibility from the library last week to watch as a part of the Everything Austen challenge I’m participating in (check out Stephenie’s Written World if you want to see what everyone has been up to).  I did not realize how many different versions of this movie there were but I found this one enjoyable and plan on watching the one with Emma Thompson which I am told is the best version.  I am not sure how to handle spoilers of a classic so in case you don’t want to know how this story ends you may not want to read past this.

My extremely short, down and dirty summary is that Eleanor falls in love with Edward, Edward turns out to be hiding a previous engagement to another woman.  Eleanor’s sister Marianne falls in love with Willoughby, while Colonel Brandon falls in love with Marianne, Willoughby runs off, impregnates another girl and then marries a third.  Who will end up with whom?

The version I watched was the BBC 3 episode series starring: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, Janet McTeer, Mark Williams.  I had not read this Austen book before so I was eagerly waiting to find out what would happen in the end.  I thought all the characters were played well and I loved Edward.  It almost broke my heart when I thought he married Lucy Steele.  I was so relieved to find out that his brother married her instead and he was free to declare his love for Eleanor.  I was not as caught up in the story line of Marianne and Willoughby although this may be because I was not impressed by Colonel Brandon’s dashingness and would have preferred to see her with Willoughby if he were not such a jerk.   The one character I am curious to see how she is portrayed in the book is Lucy Steele.  I could not figure her out in the movie.  Was she really clueless about Eleanor’s feelings when she imparted her confidence to her?  Was she rubbing it in that she and Edward were engaged?  Was she trying to be kind by letting Eleanor know?  Sometimes she came across as being a little snot and cruelly rubbing it in Eleanor’s face.  Other times she seemed almost as witless as her sister.

The only book I have read by Austen is Pride and Prejudice and it is my favorite book of all time.  After watching Sense and Sensibility I am curious now if all of her books are about two sisters love affairs just in different circumstances.   All in all I am glad I finally know the story of at least one other Austen book and will definitely be adding the book to my TBR list.

Posted in Books, Classics, Movies

10 Responses

  1. Lisa

    I’m anxious to see this. I’ve only seen the movie version starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet which is really good. I think you’ve exhausted the sisters theme in Austen’s writing if memory serves.

  2. dsuzuki

    LOL. Good to know. I had checked out I think it was Mansfield Park but it was due back at the library today so I didn’t have a chance to watch it.

  3. Celia

    I started watching this last night and only got 10 minutes in before I started yawning (my fault, not the film’s!). Your review has me excited for more…thanks! Good luck with the rest of your Everything Austen picks!

  4. dsuzuki

    Celia-I think it was partially the movie as well. I watched the first episode and then my daughter woke up so I had to stop. I almost didn’t go back to it but episode 2 & 3 got me hooked.

  5. Nicole

    I haven’t seen this version of Sense and Sensibility but I really liked the Emma Thompson version. I think you’like it. S & S isn’t my favorite Austen. It might be my least fave.

  6. Stephanie

    I just got done reading S&S and even though I prefer P&P, I still found the book enjoyable!!

  7. Heather

    Nope Lucy Steele is cruelly rubbing it in Elinor’s face…it’s a lot more apparent in the Emma Thompson version. She confides in Elinor because she knows Edward has taken a fancy to her and wants Elinor’s hands off her man! Though I liked the Emma Thompson one better, this version is excellent as well!

  8. dsuzuki

    Stephanie-can’t wait to pick up the book.
    Heather-I thought that was the case. That also makes more sense of why she left Edward for his brother.

  9. Caffey

    Debbie, do you know if this movie is captioned for the deaf? Sometimes it will say it is but it isn’t. (Sadly the A&E of Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth isn’t captioned :( So I haven’t been able to see that one.

    I so love P&P too! I do have SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and do want to read another of hers! I had just re-read P&P in May as my first re-read of it since HS! And it was even better because I was more aware of the society and history of regency from all the regency romances I read since! I so now want to read this one! Thanks for the info!

  10. dsuzuki

    Caffey-on Amazon it says it’s close captioned but I didn’t check and I already returned it. sorry.

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