Today I tackle mashing up Sense and Sensibility, which I think may be the book of Ms. Austen's that best translates to film. All the adaptations done of this story stick fairly closely to the original text, and all are satisfying in their own ways. Nevertheless, as each film has improved on its predecessor, the first - a 1971 BBC mini-series in four parts - cannot really compete in this contrary exercise in which I intend to indulge. It is for this reason that I posted a review of the film last Friday, as it is entirely unrepresented here. Still, between the 1981 BBC mini-series (this one was allotted an enormous seven parts, though in only half hour increments), the 1995 Ang Lee film, and the 2008 Andrew Davies mini-series, this was still the hardest mash up I have yet attempted. Some of the characters have been repeatedly represented phenomenally - like Fanny Dashwood and Willoughby - making selection very difficult. I know many will disagree with my final calls, but as I acknowledge the entire endeavor to be partial and prejudiced, I hope no one may think I slighted anyone intentionally. That being said, for your delectation may I present my Sense and Sensibility Mash Up? I hope you enjoy it!
(Check out previous mash ups - Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion)
Irene Richard charmed me in this role (also familiar to Austen fans as Charlotte Lucas in the 1980 production of Pride and Prejudice), and Hattie Morahan was positively exquisite, I still prefer Emma Thompson in the role (despite being a bit too old for it). Yet I cannot watch the film without remembering those awesome final episodes of "The Vicar of Dibley", so memorable to Richard Armitage fans, in which Dawn French refers to Emma Thompson's reaction when Hugh Grant finally asks her to marry him. If you've ever seen it, by all means get a copy a check it out!
Kate Winslet and Charity Wakefield. I went with the former because, frankly, I just really like Kate Winslet. Ever since first seeing the film (not long after first reading the book), she has been the Marianne in my mind's eye whenever I read the book.
Dan Stevens' 2008 portrayal to any other Edward. He is more charming than Edward is usually imagined to be, which might have something to do it with it. I must admit that Edward is not one of my favorite Austen heroes.
Alan Rickman andwill always think he's the best Brandon, no matter how many phenomenal performances David Morrissey gives. I have nothing else to offer in justification of myself.
Greg Wise's 1995 performance with Dominic Cooper's physical appearance I would, but, as that would be against my self imposed rules, I'm going to pick Dominic Cooper (2008) for this role. He just looks exactly like I have always imagined Willoughby to appear (a slight resembles to my first boyfriend doesn't hurt either).
Janet McTeer's 2008 portrayal. She captures the sensitivity towards her children that Austen develops so well and looks every inch the lady of the manner. We really feel her the magnitude of her indignation at her social descent in this adaptation.
Lucy Boynton in the 2008 production for this role, although her interpretation seems more based on Emilie Francois' 1995 performance than anything one might find in Austen. As none of the previous adaptations bother to include Miss Margaret, I guess we can assume that this hoydenish portrayal is the version cinema is sticking to.
Julia Chambers is the only actress who seems able to balance her innocent facade and the deceitful nature. The other portrayals lean either too far one way or the other for my satisfaction. Unfortunately, I could not find a better quality photo.
Mark Gatiss' 2008 performance, as he really comes off as, frankly, whipped, and inclined to act better were his wife not such a harpy. This feels, to me, more in keeping with Austen's intentions for him.
Amanda Boxer's 1981 performance best. She has such a sneer! Her self-satisfied condescension is perfect.
Mrs. Jennings - Again, 1981 holds sway here. I really like Annie Leon's motherly portrayal of this part. She is both the ill-mannered and jovial lady Austen created while perfectly capturing the truly good heart that lays beneath the unpolished exterior, yet not an image can I find! You'll just have to watch the film!
Mark Williams' 2008 portrayal best. He's a perfect country squire while not being overly course. I also like how his friendship with Colonel Brandon is developed further in this adaptation.
Jean Marsh did the most justice to the part in 2008, incorporating a very appropriate haughtiness into her performance, but I wish she would have been less stoic (especially when she confronts Edward and Lucy).
Hetty Baynes thoroughly silly portrayal of this part from 1981. Her incredibly annoying giggle sticks with me far more than any aspect from any other lady's performance as Charlotte, although a personal bias makes me long to give this role to Imelda Staunton -1995 (especially as I lament the lack of a decent image of Ms. Baynes).
Hugh Laurie in 1995 is significantly more sympathetic than anything Austen could have envisioned for the man, I like it, and I like Mr. Laurie. His performance emphasizes the similarities between the relationship of the Palmers to that of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, a parallel which has long intrigued me.
Daisy Haggard's 2008 portrayal of this part. Something about her toothiness makes her performance work far better for me than the others. It should be noted that Miss Steele was completely absent from the 1995 film - a sad omission of a fabulously comic character in my mind.
Emma Thompson - http://www.jimandellen.org/austen/janeausten.onfilm.html
Kate Winslet - http://movies.ndtv.com/GalleryDetails.aspx?ID=3505&category=Movies&picno=1&Section=Hollywood
Dan Stevens - http://austenefforts.bravehost.com/sensibility2008.html
Alan Rickman - http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=898
Dominic Cooper - http://www.hecklerspray.com/top-19-cads-of-all-time/201044655.php
Janet McTeer - http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/sense-and-sensibility-2008-makes-wonderful-sense-for-the-most-part/
Lucy Boynton - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/1190128-lucy_boynton/pictures/?type=flixster&imageCount=9&rtImageCount=0
Julia Chambers - http://juanhuang772.spaces.live.com/?_c11_BlogPart_BlogPart=blogview&_c=BlogPart&partqs=cat%3D%25e5%25bd%25b1%25e8%25a7%2586
Mark Gatiss - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/senseandsensibility/characters.html
Amanda Boxer - http://janeausten.com.br/page/45/
Mark Williams - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/senseandsensibility/characters.html
Jean Marsh - http://austenefforts.bravehost.com/sensibility2008.html
Hetty Baynes - http://juanhuang772.spaces.live.com/?_c11_BlogPart_BlogPart=blogview&_c=BlogPart&partqs=cat%3D%25e5%25bd%25b1%25e8%25a7%2586
Hugh Laurie - http://www.theladiesofthehouse.org/Fan-Page.html
Daisy Haggard - http://austenprose.com/2009/02/09/masterpieces-sense-and-sensibility-2008-revisited-part-two/
Richard Lumsden - http://forum.blueharvest.net/index.php?showtopic=6955&st=40