Quick thoughts on Sense and Sensibility (2007)

Masterpiece Theatre‘s Jane Austen run has finished with the 2007 BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Andrew Davies gives us this version, and from that standpoint, works pretty well. The slightly longer allotted time (about 2.5 hours) for this adaptation gives it a better sense of pacing, at least relative to the other recent offerings in the Austen season.

Going through both parts within the same day (last week’s part 1 via the PVR and this week’s part 2 “live” on PBS’ HD channel – yeah it probably wasn’t HD, but far better quality nonetheless), I really liked the establishing shots of the Devon coastline. And in my mind, I kept thinking of the Ang Lee-directed adaptation from the mid-1990s, or at least in terms of how Margaret and Marianne Dashwood, and to a lesser extent, Edward Ferrars, looked similar in both versions. And I admit not even having watched all of that film.

Sense and Sensibility is probably the Austen novel I had the most trouble getting into. It might be because it was a novel that wasn’t covered in a course’s synopsis, and as such, was the last of Austen’s six novels to be read. But in terms of the plot, I think Davies covered it well for this adaptation. At least, I followed the story and figured out who was “sense” and who was “sensibility”, which could speak well toward Davies’ attempt to write an adaptation that can placate the Janeites yet remain accessible to the casual viewer. 8/10


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