One-Minute Book Reviews

March 31, 2008

Last Night’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ on PBS — A Star Vehicle for Jane Austen, Not Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant

Filed under: Classics,Novels — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:32 pm
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Does the new Sense and Sensibility leave the impression that Marianne Dashwood needs extra Zoloft?

Ginia Bellafante wrote in Saturday’s New York Times that Marianne Dashwood “slips over the rocks from fragility to desperation” in the new Sense and Sensibility on PBS that began last night:

“At 17, Marianne is meant to possess a heart that gives itself too easily, but I doubt that Austen ever intended for us to see her as someone who ought to increase her dosage of Zoloft.”

Bellafante is right about the generous heart of the middle Dashwood sister But I didn’t see the need for extra Zoloft in last night’s installment of the two-part series, which ends April 6, so you have to wonder if Marianne will take an alarming emotional plunge on Sunday.

But so far I like this Masterpiece Theater/BBC production at least as much as the 1995 Ang Lee adaptation that starred Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman. For all its charms, the Lee version was a star vehicle for its actors, especially for Thompson and Grant. But the new adaptation is a star vehicle for Jane Austen And you can hardly fault it for that.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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