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Sense and Sensibility(1995)
Emma Thompson stars in and provides the screenplay for this adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel. Thompson plays Elinor, the eldest of sisters who are reduced in means when their father dies and his estate passes on to his son from his first marriage. They are soon accepted into their new society, each finding romance, but with some pain along the way. Also starring Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, the film won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as three BAFTAs.
For more about Sense and Sensibility and the Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray release, see Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on May 28, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Ang Lee
Writers: Emma Thompson, Jane Austen
Starring: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, James Fleet (I), Greg Wise (I)
» See full cast & crew
Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 28, 2013
Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include deleted scenes as well as multiple featurettes with comments from cast and crew members. In English, with optional English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Spanish (Castilian), and Spanish (Latin America) subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
The three Dashwood sisters could not be any more different. The eldest, Elinor (Emma Thompson, In the Name of the Father), is always calm and reserved. The younger Marianne (Kate Winslet, Titanic) is passionate and energetic, a hopeless romantic who cannot hide her feelings. Both feel that they know the world they live in but see it very differently. Eleven-year old Margaret (Emilie Francois) is too young to understand everything her sisters discuss, which is why she spends plenty of time alone.
When the sick Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton) dies, by law his estate is passed to his eldest son from his first marriage. The new master of the estate then quickly determines that there isn't enough room for the widow Dashwood (Gemma Jones, TV's The Duchess of Duke Street) and her three daughters to continue living there and they end up in a small country cottage kindly offered to them by a distant relative.
Three different men profoundly change the lives of the women. Elinor falls in love with her handsome brother-in-law, Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant, Notting Hill), who is already engaged to another woman. The two spend plenty of time together but eventually are pushed away from each other. Marianne meets and falls in love with John Willoughby of Allenham (Greg Wise, Judas Kiss), a dashing gentleman who can quote Shakespeare's sonnets. Also visiting the country cottage is Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman, Rasputin), who is attracted to Marianne but not entirely sure how to win her heart.
The film follows closely Elinor and Marianne as they repeatedly get their hearts broken but eventually end up with the right men that can love them as they desire.
Emma Thompson's adaptation of Jane Austen's first novel is quite brilliant. Unlike the novel, the film never feels too dry or chaotic. There is a very clear sense of direction and the balance between comedy and melodrama is absolutely perfect.
The film is directed by Taiwanese helmer Ang Lee, whose eye for detail is astonishingly good. The camera often catches a seemingly unimportant look or twitch that would reveal what words in this film are used to hide. The cast, of course, is spectacular, but Lee's ability to capture the casual makes all the difference here. (This is hardly surprising, however, as it is precisely the reason why his Lust, Caution and The Ice Storm are just as fascinating to behold).
Winslet and Thompson's portrayal of the two Dashwood sisters is hugely satisfying. Thompson's manners, in particular, are wonderfully natural. Rickman also delivers the performance of his career. Everything he does as Colonel Brandon deserves endless praise. On the other hand, Grant looks charming and most of the time appropriately indecisive, but his performance feels largely uninspired.
Cinematographer Michael Coulter's lensing is elegant and assured. The larger indoor and outdoor shots look equally good. The use of natural light is also very effective. The expert touch of production designer Luciana Arrighi is also felt throughout the entire film. (Arrighi also worked on the equally impressive looking Howards End and The Remains of the Day).
Note: In 1996, Sense and Sensibility won Oscar Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, as well as Golden Bear Award for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures.
This European Blu-ray release of Ang Lee's award winning film uses a high-definition transfer that was clearly prepared a while ago. Generally speaking, detail and clarity are often pleasing. The darker footage, in particular, looks far more convincing than it does on the R1 DVD release. Light ringing, however, frequently pops up throughout the film (see screencaptures # 3 and 13). Also, image depth can and should be more convincing. For example, during select panoramic shots it is clear that depth suffers (see screencapture #18). Colors are stable, never appearing distractingly boosted, but color saturation could be improved as well. Lastly, there are no serious stability issues to report in this review. Also, there are no large damage marks, debris, cuts, stains, or warps. All in all, this is a pleasing presentation of Ang Lee's award winning film, but it is clear that there is some room for sizable improvements. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray release. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are seven standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0, French Dolby Digital 5.0, German Dolby Digital 5.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, Russian Dolby Digital 5.0, Spanish (Castilian) 5.0, and Spanish (Latin American) 2.0. For the record, Sony Pictures have provided optional English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Spanish (Castilian), and Spanish (Latin America) subtitles for the main feature.
The lossless track provides the film much needed depth and fluidity. During the dancing sequence where Marianne Dashwood meets John Willoughby, one could easily tell that the music is far better rounded and crisper than it is on the R1 DVD. During the outdoor festivities clarity is also improved. Overall dynamic intensity, however, is rather modest. The dialog is always crisp, very clean, and easy to follow.
Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
This quite beautiful and wonderfully acted film directed by Ang Lee should have appeared on the U.S. market a long time ago. Instead, it is currently available on Blu-ray only in various European countries. Obviously, this is quite disappointing. Fortunately, this European Blu-ray release is Region-Free, which means that U.S. film aficionados can play it on their Region-A Blu-ray players without a problem. RECOMMENDED.
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Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Sense and Sensibility Blu-ray - March 7, 2013
The UK branch of Sony Pictures will release on Blu-ray acclaimed director Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995), starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and James Fleet. The release will be available for purchase online and in shops across the United Kingdom on ...
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