Sense and Sensibility

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +3 1/2

Jane Austen's novel about love and matchmaking in 1800s England is transformed into one of 1995's best movies. Much credit for that can be given to Emma Thompson, who wrote the screenplay and also stars in it. She plays Elinor Dashwood, the eldest of three daughters. When Mr. Dashwood dies, English law requires that his entire estate must pass to his son by a prior marriage. Even though his heir promises to take care of his father's widow and daughters, greed prevails. The unmarried half sisters and stepmother are left destitute. Elinor is just about past her prime, but she and Marianne (Kate Winslet), her younger, prettier sister, meet and fall in love with two suitable bachelors, charming Edward (Hugh Grant) and dashing Willoughby (Greg Wise). However, their family's social status sank along with their bank account, and chances of marriage look dim indeed. As the two sisters alternately laugh and cry at the efforts of a kindly wealthy couple to marry them off, Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) becomes enamored with Marianne. He is older, somber and the opposite of her exciting Willoughby. This uplifting, clever and witty film has all the ingredients of quality entertainment, including beautiful scenery and good acting.

True to the era, propriety governs the behavior of the English upper class. No cursing and only one crudity and two exclamatory profanities are heard. The characters are above reproach in their demeanor and conduct. Still, they are very human as they express the same emotions such as love, jealousy, greed and generosity we all experience. The Dashwood women are supportive and loving of one another, taking the devastating loss of their father and wealth with dignity. They resent their half-brother's betrayal, but are determined to recover without his help. The stoic Elinor hides her broken heart beneath a strong facade, while emotional Marianne wears her heart on her sleeve. The villains are masters at deceit for their own personal gain. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY can be wholeheartedly recommended for teenagers and adults.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - moderate

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory twice

Violence: Girl injured falling from horse

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Strong family values; adversity faced with dignity

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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