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This 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, won Emma Thompson an Oscar for her screenplay.  It also garnered six further Oscar nominations, including Best Actress (Thompson) and Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet – although this is a mystery to me, as she was certainly part of the main cast, and not a supporting actor.  I imagine that Thompson and Winslet may have been put into different categories so that they did not end up competing with each other).

The basic storyline revolves around Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two sisters who, after the death of their father, are forced to move with their mother and young sister Margaret, to a cottage.  The two very close but very different sisters fall in love with two very different men, but the path of love does not always run smoothly.

As well as Thompson and Winslet (who at the time was not the huge star that she subsequently became), the cast features an impressive array of actors – Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars – to whom Elinor finds herself attracted – Hugh Laurie, Imogen Stubbs and Imelda Staunton, amongst others.

There are some differences to the book, but I think the film is certainly in keeping with the spirit of Jane Austen’s novel.  The story is sensitively told, and there are some moving moments, as well as some comical ones.  It is also beautifully shot, with some gorgeous scenery, and a lovely soundtrack.

As expected from such a stellar cast, the acting is top notch, especially from Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and Alan Rickman.  Kate Winslet also shows the talent which elevated her to A List status a few short years after this film was made.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film, especially for fans of Jane Austen, period films, or romantic stories.

Year of release: 1995

Director: Ang Lee

Producers: Sydney Pollack, Laurie Borg, Lindsay Doran, James Schamus, Geoff Stier

Writers: Jane Austen (novel), Emma Thompson

Main cast: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Alan Rickman, Greg Wise, Gemma Jones, Imelda Staunton, Imogen Stubbs

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Click here for my review of the 2008 television mini series.

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