Monday, May 20, 2013

In Which I Go Against General Opinion- And I Don't DO That!

I like titles that start with "In Which."  It's probably from my love of Winnie-the-Pooh.  I have a treasury of those books, and I'm still highly amused by them.  But anyway...
My declaration that will go against general opinion:
I like Sense and Sensibility from 1971 better than Pride and Prejudice AND Emma.
Most people I know would be shocked and amazed.
Now here are the reasons, and I hope they are adequate.  They are as follows:
First, that it's the very first Jane Austen adaptation I ever watched.  There is a story behind this.  One day (such a boring beginning, but whatever) I was bored and asked my mom if there were any good books I could read.  She suggested (and I am forever indebted to her for doing so) that I read Jane Austen- Emma in particular, because it was the shortest one she had.  This is why Emma is my favorite Austen novel.  More on that in a later post.  Anyway, I fell in love with Austen, read the rest of the novels, and began looking for movie adaptations.  S&S1971 was the only S&S version the library had.  I'm not sure why I looked up S&S first, but I did, and requested the '71 version.  I watched it and found it great, and this is what originally tipped the balance in its favor.
Second, that Joanna David as Elinor was very good.
She really helped me to understand and identify with the character.  I had always admired Elinor for her self-control and ability to care so much about others while deeply hurting herself.  However, I hadn't really known her.  I didn't think she was human.  Watching her helped me to realize that she was actually a lot like me- reserved and cautious, but caring a lot about her family and friends.
Third, oh, I can hardly stop from quoting Mr. Collins here.  Who else wants to laugh at the proposal scene??  :D
ANYWAY, third: Ciaran Madden.  I know that some people thought she was way over-the-top and unstable.  I must disagree.  She acts like Marianne does in the book.  I actually thought she toned it down a little.  Marianne is supposed to be very emotional- and she tries to be, as much as possible!  I know that if I was that emotional already and I WANTED to be even more dramatic, I could end up looking like a crazy person.  Ciaran Madden acted like that, but toned it down slightly to make herself seem like less of a crazy person.
Fourth: the dresses were actually mostly modest! (For a period drama.)  There are several scenes in which they have very low dresses, but mostly the necklines are high.  Excluding Mrs. Jennings' dresses, which are rather immodest.  However, I think that's in her character and I just try to ignore it the best I can.
Now, I'm going to be fair and acknowledge that perhaps it isn't as good as other versions.  I will state the arguments against it, without attempting to weaken them.
First, and this is a huge argument against my argument, I haven't seen any other S&S versions.  I don't think I need to say any more on that subject.
Second, Edward Ferrars was clumsy rather than awkward- although the slight pauses in his speech were great!  Sorry, I said I wasn't going to do that.  Whatever.  Sorry.
Third, Colonel Brandon was a bit too much in the background.  He came out near the end, but I think it was a bit too sudden.  Also, neither he nor Edward Ferrars were very handsome.  That isn't a requirement, but still.
Fourth...I can't think of any more.  Willoughby was played in all the scoundrelly (is that a word?), weaselly perfection that is possible.
So, those are my thoughts.  Please comment and tell me what you think!

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