According to Alert Janeite Michelle W, the DVD of Sense and Sensibility 2008 will be available for purchase on May 7–which means it might be shown on TV fairly soon as well! Our fingers are crossed for you.
Also from the JASNA website, and we’re sorry we didn’t see and report this earlier! In conjunction with the PBS rebroadcast of S&S 2008 (second part airs tonight), Professor Joan Ray is currently leading an online discussion of Sense and Sensibility at the Barnes & Noble Book Club website. It’s not too late to join the discussion, so check it out!
We heard from our Alert Janeite Aad in the Netherlands, who let us know that Just Entertainment has released the seventh edition of their “BBC Classics” DVD box set, which includes Persuasion 2007 and S&S 2008 as well as The Buccaneers, Lorna Doone and The Woman in White.
The headline says it all–the Telegraph chose Sense and Sensibility 2008 as one of its top ten television productions of 2008.
4 Sense and Sensibility (BBC1)
Little Dorrit and The Devil’s Whore deserve mentions but it is Andrew Davies’s Sense and Sensibility that takes the 2008 costume drama honours. This delicate, heartfelt take on Austen’s tale looked gorgeous, but was still grubby in the right places, and contained a performance of great tenderness from Hattie Morahan (right) as Elinor. Bears comparison happily with Ang Lee’s excellent film from 1995.
Comparison? Oh yes. 😉 Thanks to Alert Janeite Lisa for the link.
MTV: Is there any truth to the rumors that you might play Johnny Depp’s brother in the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel?
Brand: I’ve seen some talk about that matter, but I think they’re still writing the script. Nonetheless, I am having a skull and crossbones tattooed on each of my nipples in anticipation of the plotline. I just hope it doesn’t affect my other work in Jane Austen adaptations.
Honestly, he’s perfect.
PBS is following up last season’s Complete Jane Austen with a big ol’ dose of Dickens (and Hardy, and Emily Brontë). More to the point for this blog, they also will be re-broadcasting Sense and Sensibility in two parts on February 1 and 8, 2009. Relive the magic!
Also, Laura Linney will be the host of Masterpiece Classics this season.
Our Dutch correspondent Aad wrote to tell us that there are some new DVDs coming out in the Netherlands that will be of interest to Jane Austen fans.
Just Entertainment has released their sixth BBC Classics Box, containing Pride and Prejudice (1980) and Sense and Sensibility (1971), previously released separately, as well as two Anthony Trollope adaptations, The Barchester Chronicles and He Knew He Was Right.
Just will release Sense and Sensibility 2008 on October 14, though it is available now exclusively at Blokker (which, Aad tells us, is “our version of Tesco, sort of”). 😉 Check out the ad after the jump:
If so, perhaps you can help us out. Alert Janeite Cinthia spotted a post on the IMDB forum (and the same poster at the PBS forum) in which the poster claimed that certain scenes on the Region 2 DVD are missing on the Region 1 DVD. The missing scenes were described as:
The scenes that I remember are a scene where Colonel Brandon asks Elinor to speak to Edward about offering him a living on his estate. The other is when Marianne is ill, Mrs. Jennings comes in and has a conversation with Elinor.
If our Gentle Readers who own the Region 2 DVD can check if those scenes are on their DVDs, we would be most grateful.
The Complete Jane Austen is now behind us with the broadcast of the second part of Sense and Sensibility. We’ve really run out of things to say, but we’re sure our Gentle Readers will make up for it.
One Minute Book Reviews disputes the perception that Jane Austen’s novels take a rose-colored view of romance. It’s a very short piece so we won’t copy over anything, but check it out and see what you think. Thanks to Alert Janeite Jeannette for the link.
I admire that anyone even attempts to brave the minefield of adapting my favorite author. Although it is a truth universally acknowledged that the book is always better than the movie, a good movie often inspires those who haven’t read the book to do so. And the more Austen readers there are out there, the closer we Janeites come to world domination.
Just kidding. But would that be such a bad thing?
These days our own idea is to keep Jane inside a compound surrounded by an electrified fence patrolled by very angry and hungry Dobermans. World domination has its attractions, but it unfortunately involves mingling with the rest of the world. These are the same people who watch reality television and made Paris Hilton a celebrity. This tar-hearted spinster would prefer to keep Jane Austen to herself, but we are just cranky. 🙂
And lastly, Andrew Davies answers your questions about adapting Jane Austen’s novels. Thanks to Alert Janeite I. Miller for the link.
The Complete Jane Austen begins to wrap up tonight with a two-part presentation of the new-to-us Sense and Sensibility. PBS’ Remotely Connected blog has a review from Laurie Viera Rigler:
Anyway, after I stopped turning cartwheels, a mild feeling of apprehension set in. As an Austen addict whose obsession exceeds even that of the protagonist of my novel, my mind is so full of the text that often I must watch a new film adaptation twice just to see if I like it or not. The first time I watch, my mind is buzzing: Did the screenwriter/director stay true to text? Why did they add this scene or cut that one? Not exactly the uncluttered frame of mind one needs in order to sit back and enjoy the story unfolding on the screen.
But this new Sense and Sensibility? That called for three viewings before I could even see it as a film unto itself. Not only was the novel echoing in my head, but the Oscar-winning Ang Lee/Emma Thompson movie, which is perhaps my favorite of all the Austen-related films, demanded comparisons at every turn.
Nevertheless, I’m happy to report that I find myself in a state of admiration for the new Sense and Sensibility. A review by Amazon UK’s editorial staff addresses the inevitable comparisons to the Ang Lee/Emma Thompson film by suggesting that “it’s perhaps best [to] see them as companion pieces.” I agree. The luxury of this particular film’s nearly three hours of screen time provides more opportunities to stay true to text, which we devotees of text certainly appreciate. However, this film, like most adaptations, includes expanded and even invented scenes, something I have no objection to, as long as they serve the story and character development.
And the Editrix also had her share in the conversation. Well, actually we had some help from perhaps unexpected sources. 😉 (If you haven’t seen the new film yet, the review might make much more sense after you do.)
PBS also has a minisite dedicated to the film, including some behind the scenes videos.
There are lots of media reviews as well, which is to be expected. The New York Times review by Ginia Bellafante takes an interesting view of the pasted-on “seduction” scene at the beginning.
The PBS adaptations of Austen’s novels have been infused with a certain eroticism, and it should be said that “Sense and Sensibility” introduces itself with a bedroom scene that seems to exist as an admonition against incautious sex. Flesh is anathema to Austen purists, but the murkily filmed scene (baffling until you figure out who the players are much later) animates what is implied if not stated in Austen: that in mindless passion there is no substance at all.
Has someone told Andrew Davies? 😉
The reviews are overwhelmingly positive: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Los Angeles Times, Cleveland.com, USAToday, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette all have rave reviews. Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune thinks Willoughby is too obviously a cad for belief, the Mercury News thinks it’s a little slow, and the Long Beach Press-Telegram thinks it’s not lively enough for Jane Austen.
What did we think? We thought it quite good, definitely the best of the latest set of adaptations, though not quite as good as the 1995 film, although at times we felt more like we were watching a remake of that film than a new adaptation of the novel. We particularly enjoyed Daisy Haggard’s turn as Miss Steele (quel surprise) and thought Hattie Morahan as Elinor was a real bright spot in the production, very much the emotional center of the film and a very strong performance. We liked Dan Stevens a lot as well, though he reminded us more of Henry Tilney than of Edward Ferrars. We found the story rushed and a trifle sloppy in places–why in the world did Marianne call Fanny Dashwood “Aunt?” And then how does Edward, Fanny’s brother, become Elinor’s cousin? We don’t mean to nitpick, but we find such changes confusing, distracting, and most of all unnecessary. And see if you can spot all the lines stolen from P&P, because Jane knows we can’t have an adaptation that doesn’t reference P&P.
That being said, we think our readers will, for the most part, be very pleased with the new series. Let us know what you think.