Category Archives: Reading

Jane Calling: Emma Makes Sense

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

 

Emma Thompson. She’s a definite acting fave of mine.  She can be oh so serious (Howard’s End, for one), funny (Much Ado About Nothing), surprising (Stranger Than Fiction), and even silly (Nanny McPhee). Did you know she can also write?

 

I found her book at the library when I was checking out all the different movie versions of Sense and Sensibility.  I knew she had written the screenplay for the 1995 adaptation, but I didn’t know I could read it.  

 

Product Details

image: amazon.com

 

Here are some takeaways from reading her book:

 

  • it took about 15 years to actually get SandS made into a movie
  • Emma Thompson worked on the script over four years
  • reading a screenplay script is not as easy as it seems
  • although it’s fun to read all the stage directions (Elinor takes his hands gratefully)
  • it’s fascinating to read the story broken down into bits and pieces
  • I “watched” the movie as I read the script
  • I better understood each character having to focus on each of his or her lines
  • I would like to write a screenplay of a novel someday
  • Maybe not

 

That was the first part of the book–the screenplay.  The second part dealt with Emma Thompson’s diaries while making the movie.  As a writer and an actress it gave her a lot to write about.  My biggest takeaway from reading her diary?

 

  • Acting is not as glamorous as it looks

 

I highly recommend reading Emma’s book if you like to learn more about what makes a favorite movie tick, and I learned quite a lot about the 1995 version (one of the movie sheep fainted due to getting too hot from not being sheared–they wanted wooly sheep, not naked sheep for the movie).  Oh, just a heads up–Emma is, well, kind of open in how she writes. She isn’t one to hold back on how she sees things.

 

 This was an unexpected find and gave me a different insight about Sense and Sensibility.

 

English: Emma Thompson at the César awards cer...

English: Emma Thompson at the César awards ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Jane Calling: Darcy and Liz Senselessly in Love

Today is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, which is why I am writing about Sense and Sensibility.  Everyone will be extolling their la-de-dahs about P&P, so I’m writing about the forgotten firstie: Sense and Sensibility.

In my last post, I created a poll to see what you all thought about which book is better: Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.  Here are the results

I also said I would start my finally-free-from-finals weekend with a Sense and Sensibility marathon.  I began with Emma Thompson’s 1995 film adaptation.  apparently there hadn’t been an major film adaptation of a JA novel for fifty years until Ang Lee and Emma brought their version to the screen (although there had been a few TV ones).  To say it was a hit is a definite understatement.  Here’s the Wikipedia on it (please don’t tell Mrs. Fieldstone I’m using Wikipedia as a resource):

Sense and Sensibility
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ang Lee
Produced by Lindsay Doran
Screenplay by Emma Thompson
Based on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Starring Emma Thompson Alan Rickman Kate Winslet Hugh Grant
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Michael Coulter
Editing by Tim Squyres
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • 13 December 1995 (1995-12-13) (United States)
  • 23 February 1996 (1996-02-23) (United Kingdom)
Running time 136 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom United States
Language English French
Budget $16 million
Box office $134,993,774

Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 British-American period drama film directed by Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen‘s 1811 novel of the same name Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as Elinor Dashwood, while Kate Winslet plays Elinor’s sister Marianne. Actors Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman play their respective suitors.

Producer Lindsay Doran, a longtime admirer of Austen’s novel, hired Thompson to write the screenplay. The actress spent four years penning numerous revisions, working on the script between other films as well as into production of the film itself. Doran found studios nervous that Thompson was the credited writer, but Columbia Pictures eventually agreed to act as the film’s producer. Though initially intending for another actress to portray Elinor, Thompson was persuaded to undertake the part herself, despite the disparity with her character’s age.

The film garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews upon release and  received many awards and nominations, including three awards and eleven nominations at the 1995 British Academy Film Awards. The film received seven Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture. Emma Thompson received two nominations, for Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning the latter. As of 2012, Thompson remains the only person to have won both acting and writing awards at the Academy Awards, as she previously won the Best Actress award in 1992 for Howards End.

Sense and Sensibility contributed to a resurgence in popularity for Austen’s work, and led to many more film and television adaptations in the following years.

I adore this movie, although I get so irritated with Marianne, I want to shake her, especially how rude she is to Colonel Brandon.  Emma plays the forbearing sister part incredibly well.  I knew, as everyone else, that she was really too old to being playing Elinor, but her acting is absolutely perfect.  When Elinor lashes out at Marianne about having had to hide her hurts all those months, she still found the compassion to comfort her self-centered sister (Kate shows her own abilities in this part).

I even checked out Emma Thompson’s book about the movie, which is the screenplay and her running journal.  That’s for next postie.

Related articles

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

Jane Calling: Some Sensibility

Title page from the first edition of Jane Aust...

Title page from the first edition of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With finals finally over I actually have a FREE weekend with Monday off as well.  I’m dedicating my extra time to my Jane Austen Challenge and have decided to begin with her first novel.  No, it’s not Pride and Prejudice like everyone thinks.  It’s actually Sense and Sensibility, which is often overlooked, seeing how everyone is absolutely bonkers about Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve decided to do a comparison chart between the two.

As you can see there is little difference between the two.  I think the biggest difference though is Elizabeth.  She rocks.  She’s got that sharp wit and she has two proposals when most girls hope for even one.  There is also all that subterfuge with Wickham.

Then again, suffering the almost martyrdom of eldest sister Elinor as we are holding our breath over Marianne’s lack of decorum over Willoughby, is good stuff.  I really don’t know which one is the better of the two, but mention Jane Austen and it’s “Oh, she wrote Pride and Prejudice.”

Which book do you think is better?

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and   Sensibility

About sisters and their romantic interests ditto
Set in Regency England ditto
Money (lack of) is part of the problem ditto
That dratted Inheritance Law causes conflict ditto
One sister’s behavior creates problems ditto
Misunderstandings abound ditto
The mother is extremely irritating di—oh, a mother-in-law type is irritating
Handsome suitors abound definitely
A very satisfying ending Absolutely—though not perfect
English: Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen No...

English: Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen Novel), ch.44. Willoughby is coming at Cleverland to explain himself and beg Marianne’s forgiveness Français : Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), ch.44 : Willoughby, ayant appris la maladie de Marianne supplie Elinor d’entendre sa confession (Photo credit: Wikipedia)