Monday, January 07, 2008

Sense and Sensibility Part 2!

We are now two episodes in to the new BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility with one more left to go and I must confess that, like Anne, I am enjoying it immensely. The book had never been one of my favourites amongst Jane Austen’s novels and I seem to be one of the few people who weren’t enchanted by the 1995 film but I love this version. Andrew Davies commented in a recent interview that he had fleshed out the male characters in this adaptation and it shows. Edward Ferrers is much less bumbling and Colonel Brandon is masterful. The conversation between Brandon and Willoughby in Part 2 was a classic of male aggression barely cloaked in Regency courtesy!

The BBC Drama website has interviews with some of the cast and in them they raise some interesting issues about the period. Hattie Morahan, who plays Elinor, comments on the limited range of activities available to ladies at the time. When they were trying to decide what they should be doing in some of the scenes they only had a choice of playing cards, or sewing, reading or painting. She comments that unless you were a lady of enquiring mind looking to develop your interests, you would be lost. Charity Wakefield, who plays Marianne, sees her as the type of character who loves the outdoors and feels confined inside, penned in with other people, and again sees the conventions of the time chafing for a woman like that and creating some of the conflict between Marianne’s character and the dictates of society.

There are also fascinating interviews with the costume and make up people, giving an insight into their research and how they suited the choice of clothes to the individual characters. Click here for the site. Sense and Sensibility concludes in the UK on January 13th and is planned to show on PBS in the US on 30th March and 6th April.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm enjoying it too.

Anonymous said...

I've heard and read a lot of criticism about this adaptation. I think one of the problems is that it is impossible to acheive everything that might be considered a perfect reflection of Jane Austen's work in a production of this sort. Everyone involved has a part to play, the screenplay writer, locations people, costumes, time allocated etc and all have to consider the vast audience they are trying to entertain. There will never be enough accuracy for the true Janeite nor will they please us all but I think this is not a reason to condemn adaptations like this. If people are introduced to Jane Austen's work as a result and many are, I think it all to the good. Personally, I love to see different interpretations of Jane's books and I am looking forward to the conclusion of this one. Bring on the next!

Jane Odiwe

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, well.....I've decided that the casting has serious flaws:

Marianne and Willoughby for a start. There is just no chemistry. Andrew Davies has simply lost the plot with the Edward wood chopping scene and as for his "dark moods"...I think Elinor has had a lucky escape.

The main problem I have is that the book has a lot of humour in it, and it's not in this adaptation.

I've been trying not to compare this version with the last, but unfortunately, the Ang Lee film caught the essence of JA that this adaptation hasn't.

Thank goodness for Elinor and Sir John, otherwise I would be sorely upset!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Emma Thompson's screenplay and Ang Lee's direction are suprior in every respect but that doesn't stop me enjoying this on another level.
Perhaps there is not so much humour in this production, though I like this interpretation of Mrs Jennings and I did laugh at Miss Steele.
No adaptation is ever going to reproduce the book I have in my head but I still find pleasure in watching the t.v. versions.

Anonymous said...

I like this version. I like
iss Steele I think she's very funny. I wish they'd put more of Austen's humour in the adaptations but I still think this is a very good way to spend a winter evening.

Gabriele Campbell said...

I hope som German TV channel buys that one.

We can give you a version of War and Peace in exchange, though I'm not sure it'll be a good deal. It is very much War and Peace Lite, with an odd mix of Tolstoy and too modern dialogue, some very bathetic scenes, an excellent Pierre Besukhov, a good Andrej Bolkonsky, Anatol Kuragin and some other roles, and an abysmal Natasha. All in 4 evenings of 100 minutes or so.