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Sense & Sensibility / Miss Austen Regrets

353 customer reviews

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Product Description

Sense and Sensibility (2008) (DblDVD)

From acclaimed writer Andrew Davies comes this enchanting new adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel about love and marriage. Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Elinor, sensitive to social convention, struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?


Lush, dramatic, and beautifully acted, the BBC's three-part miniseries Sense & Sensibility captures the languid urgency that resonates throughout the Jane Austen novel on which it is based. The miniseries begins with a seduction scene: As a young girl cautiously gives herself to a man, she asks, "But when will you come back?" He answers ominously, "Soon... very soon," and gallops off into the night. We know what she does not--that he will not return for her. But viewers do not learn until the end who the couple are, and how their actions set off a chain of events. It is inevitable that this period piece will be compared to the 1995 big screen adaptation that starred Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant, and won Thompson an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. To its credit, this later version stands up incredibly well, with actors whose looks match Austen's written description. And due to a longer running time than the film version, there is more attention paid to detail and minor characters. Sense & Sensibility focuses on the longings of the Dashwood sisters Elinor (Hattie Morahan) and Marianne (Charity Wakefield). After their wealthy father dies, leaving his entire estate to their milquetoast half brother John (Mark Gatiss), Elinor, Marianne, their younger sister Margaret (Lucy Boynton), and their mother are left penniless. John and his shrew-like wife Fanny move into the manor, making the Dashwoods feel like unwanted guests. It is only after Fanny's handsome and kind brother Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens) arrives for a visit that Elinor feels happy again. Marianne, too, has attracted the attention of two suitors: serious and shy Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey) and dashing Willoughby (Dominic Cooper). Learning that the 35-year-old colonel is interested in her, a stunned Marianne says, "You do realize that it will be impossible for me to speak to him again." Her actions are that of a little girl, running away and hiding when he comes to call on her. But her feelings for Willoughby are real: the kind of love a girl feels for the first time. The differences in the sisters' choices, actions, and secrets set the tone for an era when a perceived impropriety could ruin a woman's reputation and her family's standing in a community. Filmed in England with good use of aerial shots, the production has a sweeping feel that adds a distinct flavor to the drama. As with many Austen novels, the heroines in Sense & Sensibility go through many misunderstandings before their happily-ever-after ending. But that ending leaves viewers satisfied that things turned out just the way that they should.

Austen fans will be delighted with the second disc in this set: Miss Austen Regrets is a perfect companion to the miniseries, starring Olivia Williams stars as the author, and Greta Scacchi--who could easily pass as Williams' real-life sibling--as Austen's sister Cassandra. The film takes a bittersweet look at Austen's life and hints at what could have been had she married one of her suitors. Smart and headstrong, Austen refuses to cave into society's notions of what a proper woman should do. While her famous heroines all paired up with dashing gentlemen, Austen found that the loves of her life were her written creations. --Jae-Ha Kim

Special Features

Audio commentaries Interviews with producer Anne Pivcevic and writer Andrew Davies Photo gallery Audio commentaries Interviews with producer Anne Pivcevic and writer Andrew Davies Photo gallery Audio commentaries Interviews with producer Anne Pivcevic and writer Andrew Davies Photo gallery Audio commentaries Interviews with producer Anne Pivcevic and writer Andrew Davies Photo gallery Audio commentaries Interviews with producer Anne Pivcevic and writer Andrew Davies Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, Janet McTeer, Mark Williams
  • Directors: John Alexander
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012OVCE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sense & Sensibility / Miss Austen Regrets" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

432 of 444 people found the following review helpful By Marcy G. on January 20, 2008
Format: DVD
Jane Austen fans have reason to rejoice. After a mixed repertoire of new Austen adaptations, BBC has done it again with a pleasurable, charming and faithful adaptation to "Sense & Sensibility."

No doubt this version of `Sense & Sensibility' will be compared to the popular and well-loved 1995 film version starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. And it certainly has big shoes to fill. After all, the 1995 version was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, won Emma Thompson a Best Adapted Screenplay award and catapulted then-unknown Kate Winslet to stardom. And while that version sets the bar for all other versions that follow, even its most faithful fans would certainly admit that it did have its flaws. For one, at a 2-hour or so running time, the audience was treated to a few excised characters, the absence of some key scenes from the book and some actors who were noticeably too old for their roles.

Nevertheless, I approached this new S&S with some trepidation. I felt that there was no way for this version to top (or even equal) the one from 1995. Imagine my surprise when I found myself totally captivated by the end of this miniseries. While it started slowly, it became more and more enchanting as it went along and I found myself falling in love with most of the characters.

Among its successes are as follows (WARNING - SPOILERS GALORE!!):

1 - A strong screenplay by Andrew Davies. After penning the screenplay to such period drama favorites as the 1995 "Pride & Prejudice" (yes, the one with Colin Firth), "Wives & Daughters," "Middlemarch," "Daniel Deronda" and the new delightful "Northanger Abbey," Andrew Davies is well-known among period drama fans.
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100 of 106 people found the following review helpful By randomartco VINE VOICE on February 12, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After a disappointing start to the year in new showings of Mansfield Park & Persuasion, and even Northanger Abbey to some extent (it was good, it could have been better: LONGER for one), Sense & Sensibility finally gets it right! Of course, there are a few 'silly' Andrew Davies moments: Edward chopping wood in a wet, white shirt, the beginning seduction scene...but overall the tone & feel of this adaptation are so far superior to those mentioned above, that I must rejoice finally in being given a good adaptation of a Jane Austen novel this year!

They do a fine job with the story, and the actors are very well suited: I loved Hattie Morahan as Elinor, Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars, and nothing wrong with David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon. The age difference between Elinor & Marianne was handled much better in this version, and you can really follow the love stories between the characters succintly, and feel right along with them.

I was also incredibly pleased to see the visit that happened to Elinor while Marianne was recovering (those of you who have read the book, know what I am referring to): to have something added back in, rather than edited from the story was great to see!

Content: for those of you worried about content, there is one decent obstacle: the first few minutes of the film are a very sensual seduction scene between a young man and an even younger woman: I would suggest skipping that, and then the rest of the film is pretty family friendly: no language that I can recall, or very little else that would be counted as objectionable.

What a joy to have a new, well-done adaptation of Sense & Sensibility! This is a film to watch over and over again (as I have done countless times already with my region 2 DVD): a delight, and here's to wishing we'll have many more such in the next few years!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 19, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In reality, I wanted to give it 4 1/2 stars but that wasn't an option.
I was disappointed that this wasn't being released until April in the US but with the wonders of youtube, I was glad to get a chance to watch it now. I have seen every version of any adaption of a Jane Austen book ever made and I think this one will become one of my favorites. I was curious to see if it would live up to the 1995 version by Emma Thompson which I love and I am happy to say that it did and even exceeded my expectations. Spoilers below, so beware!!!

What I liked about it:

1. Fantastic casting. My favorites were Hattie Morahan as Elinor and Dan Stevens as Edward. As much as I love Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, I thought Hattie and Dan really nailed these characters in every possible way. Dan especially played Edward a little softer and less stiff then Hugh Grant did, and it made his character more interesting to watch. Jean Marsh as Mrs. Ferras and Claire Skinner as Fanny were as hateful as they should be. The other supporting cast was excellent too, although I did miss Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer. He just added so much to that small character.

2. The length - finally a filmmaker does the book justice!!! It was nice to see the story in its entirety, not so chopped up. I am practically glad to see the characters of Lady Middleton and Anne Steele included (although a little under used). I was especially glad to see the scence when Willoughby comes to the Palmer's house when Marianne is ill. That is one of my favorite scenes in the book and I was glad it was included. The filmmakers also paced it really well so that I never felt it was moving too slowly or getting too dull.

Reason why I would take away ½ a star:

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Topic From this Discussion
When on Blu Ray?
I didn't see this post. I just posted a question about this myself. I would love to have this version of Sense and Sensibility on blu-ray.
Jul 24, 2014 by Ang E |  See all 2 posts
What I Wish
I do agree with you totally! I enjoyed the movie version that starred Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant and when I saw this BBC production, I was so happy! It rivals the Ang Lee version and I just fell in love with this one. I am soo glad a bought a copy of this version! I plan to watch it again!
Mar 25, 2009 by Christine |  See all 4 posts
I would love to know the answer to this as well! I adored Miss Austen Regrets and I'd love to buy it but couldn't find it anywhere.
Feb 10, 2008 by H. L. Fisher |  See all 10 posts
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