I think we’ve already established that I’m a sucker for all things Austen but especially Sense and Sensibility. And when I discovered that sexy Dan Stevens played Edward Ferrars in the new BBC adaptation, of course I had to watch it.
Plot (and quoting myself):
For those who don’t know, Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, Elinor (Hattie Morahan) and Marianne (Charity Wakefield). The main focus is on Elinor, the older one. She’s rational, composed, intelligent and feels responsible for everything/one. Marianne seems to be her exact opposite – passionate, outspoken, spontaneous. Both fall in love, Elinor with Edward Ferrars and Marianne with John Willoughby. Of course, that isn’t the end of the story yet.
This 3 part mini-series is surprisingly different from what was done before and what I took from the book. Of course it doesn’t stray wildly from the path, but there are changes. I’m not sure yet whether that is a good thing or not. I still prefer the Ang Lee version, but that’s no surprise. Though Dan Stevens does much more for me than Hugh Grant ever did.
[SPOILERS if you don't know the story anyway]
The series opens with a sex scene. A very muted one, no doubt, but still – it’s a sex scene (a little bit disturbing because you see only the woman). Jane Austen probably would have fainted in the first minute. It’s pretty clear that it’s supposed to be Willoughby (Dominic Cooper) and Eliza (Caroline Hayes). But I found it pretty unnecessary.
The other thing that was kind of weird that Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey) and Willoughby actually had a fencing!!! duel!!! Did I miss something? Or did I forget that it was in the book? Or did they just feel the need to show Dominic Cooper beaten?
A change I really liked: they created an equivalent for the Mr-Darcy-jumps-in-the-lake-scene! A Edward-Ferrars-chops-wood-in-the-rain-scene:
Well, other than that: I really liked that they kept Anne Steele around, because she is a really funny character.
The performances were fine, nothing spectacular, nothing bad. The girls – Elinor and Marianne - did very well, though I did think that Charity Wakefield didn’t look much like I imagine Marianne. But probably just because Kate Winslet pwned that role. I did like Hattie Morahan very much, though.
Dan Stevens gave Edward quite a different spin, he was much more emotional and not as shy as you’d expect.
Casting Dominic Cooper as John Willoughby was kind of weird - he’s not much of a looker in my opinion, but John Willoughby should be a good looking man…
Summarising, I thought it a fine adaptation, though I don’t know why they found it necessary to have a new one…