Sense and Sensibility (2008) movie review

If you were just going by my blog posts, you might get the report of an alaahhming nature idea that I'm not that into period dramas.

But, my dear readers, but, you'd be wrong.  Greatly so.

My mother and I are something of period drama fanatics.  We quote them constantly, they're our go-to movie-night staple, we own many…yeah:)  One of the ones we particularly enjoy is the 2008 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

It's just such a beautiful movie, girlies.  (Or miniseries, if you wanted to get all technical about it, but nobody does, so moving on…)

If any of you are diehard '95 fans, I do apologize.  I like that version well enough, but I don't love it as I do this one.  There are two main reasons for that:  the cast/acting and the filming.  The '95, in my opinion, wasn't cast dreadfully well.  The girls are supposed to be 19 and 16 in the book, aren't they?  (I haven't read the whole book, so feel free to correct me, as I'm going by what I've heard other people mention and by what the movie script itself says.)  Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet didn't look 19 and 16, people.  But worse than that, they didn't act like they were 19 and 16.  And I know, I know, girls back then grew up far faster than now-a-days, but still.  They just don't seem right.

*gaping at the beauty of everything in this picture*

Aside from that, the actors chosen to portray Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon, um…don't quite do it for me.  *coughcough*  But more on that later…

The characters

Obviously, all the same S&S characters, but (again, this is just my opinion) far more fleshed out and likable.  

Even Fanny Dashwood sort of amuses me.  (Hmm…maybe I should be worried about that…)

Anyway, moving on.

Hattie Morahan is generally regarded as a great Elinor, Dan Stevens is generally regarded as a great
Edward, and so on and so forth…but then it comes to Charity Wakefield's portrayal of Marianne.

I will be honest and say that I honestly prefer Charity-Marianne to Kate-Marianne.  The common complaint I've heard against Charity Wakefield is that she's too "whiny and selfish" as Marianne.  I don't quite understand the selfish part of that accusation, but I do understand, partially, the whiny.  Admittedly, '08 Marianne complains more, cries more, etc…but she also felt so much more like a sixteen-year-old girl.  She's impetuous, emotional, led astray by her feelings, and she's relatable.

When she's fussing over "NOTHING to wear", I could see sixteen in her.

When she's talking with Elinor about visiting Allenham (I didn't spell that right, did I?), I could see sixteen in her ("Oh, Ellie, I do love him.").

Oh, OH, and Colonel Brandon.  Suffice it to say that I preferred '08 (David Morissey) Brandon to '95 (Alan Rickman) Brandon.  THE GLARE HE GIVES WILLOUGHBY AT THE END OF THE SECOND EPISODE.  Like, what even.  And when he's riding through the rain yelling out "Marianne!" at the top of his voice (or, "Mayanne" as it came to sound)…warm fuzzies;)

Elinor and Edward are beyond adorable.  Just sayin'.


The filming

Oh, my heavens, THE WAY THIS MOVIE IS FILMED.  From the credits at the beginning (which are nothing short of perfect) of each episode, to the tantalizing little "previews" of the next episode at the end of each segment, to the slow motion, to the camera angles, to the scenery…it's pure gorgeous.

Go watch it.  Just do it.  (Oh, and skip the opening scene.)


  1. This is actually one of my favorite movies. I was lucky enough a couple years back to FINALLY have found a reasonably priced version of it at a local Movie Stop. I love all the people that play the characters in this one.

    1. Isn't it terrific?! I mean…wow. Stunningly wonderful:)

  2. I think I probably like it equally with the '95 version. Part of that though is that I grew up watching the '95 version so I have a lot of good memories of it. :) They're both great though. They did make the characters look older in the '95 version and I think they actually changed their ages somewhat to accommodate that. I think the director (or something like that) really wanted Emma Thompson to play Elinor but Thompson knew she was too old for the role so they changed her age in the movie.
    Fun fact of the day. ;)

    1. Cool! I grew up with the '95 version, and I do have good memories of it, as well...just doesn't capture me quite as much as the '08 version:D
      Ah, I think I remember reading that somewhere...well, good for Emma Thompson! It reminds me of when Viggo Mortensen refused to play in the Hobbit movies because Aragorn isn't in the book...;)

  3. I entirely agree with you! I adore the 2008 Sense and Sensibility. I grew up thinking that the '95 version was the only one out there, but, somehow or the other, we discovered that there was a newer movie. We watched it and I have never looked back! I used to swoon over and think that Colonel Brandon was the ultimate hero in movies. Now I think I have grown up a little (which isn't to say the Colonel Brandon is only fit for childish crushes.) and when my sisters and I just watched it again recently I found that I now prefer Elinor and Edward's relationship. They had so many ups and downs that when they finally get together in the end. . . Swoon!
    Before, I related to Marianne quite a bit because we "discovered" the movies when I was younger then her and I was able to understand her better than Elinor as I was closer to her age. I find Elinor much more to my liking now, considering I am the same age as her. And besides, who wouldn't want a handsome gentleman like Edward to fall in love with you?

    1. Yes! I'm not sure how we figured that out, either, but I'm glad we did! Now we have the best of both worlds;)
      Ah, Colonel Brandon *sigh* :D
      I'm not sure which relationship I prefer, but I do love how Edward and Elinor really knew each other better than Brandon and Marianne:)

  4. I LOVE the 1995 version as much as this one, this one was very similar to my original interpretation when I first read the novel.

    Colonel Brandon in this version.. *whistles* perrrrfect! :D but Alan Rickman was good too, as an older Colonel. Oh that glare..ohmygosh! YES YES! That's the point when I clutch my chest and go *squeeeeee*

    Oh yes the filming! It's so so amazing and yes that opening scene.. Skkiiiiiiiiip.

    I've also written a continuation of S&S with Brandon and Marianne! :D

    1. Nice! I like the part in the '95 version when Elinor and Edward are trying to get Margaret to come out from under the table...XD

      OH MY GOSH BE STILL MY HEART!!! I basically melt into a puddle every time at the end of that second episode...

      Hee, yup...

      Ooh, cool! That'd be awesome! Wish I could read it:-P

    2. Yes that's the best bit!! :D

      I do to!! we should totally write a joint one... YES YES! :D? Joint story ... rp style?


      Funny you mention it

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Haha! "The root of the Nile is in Abyssinia!" XD

      Ahh, I love that idea! But I confess that I don't know what rp style means…*facepalm* :D But yes! Whatever it is, it sounds awesome!!!

      Thanks for the link! I really enjoyed reading it:) I particularly liked how you had the sisters calling each other by nicknames, and when the Colonel is crying when Marianne accepts him:D

    5. Yes!!! I love that line! :D

      Awesome! Sorry RP is like Role Play.. but I don't know up ot you.. email me? :)

      Aww thanks!! Yeah.. I had DM in my head when writing that colonel

    6. Cooleo! I'll definitely shoot you an email soon, with my guest post and for that story idea!:D

      Aww, I had him in mind, too;)

  5. *ahem* I will be civil. I will.


    First of all, great review! I love how your writing is simple and enjoyable and to the point.

    Second of all...I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, bona fide, devoted S&S 95 fan. My sister and I did watch this version a few years ago, but for me it just doesn't come close to being as good as the older one. I suppose I am very biased, in that I always seem to have a great attachment to the first adaptation of a movie I see...but even so, I just love the mood of the old movie better. Plus I love the actors: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Greg Wise...they seem so perfect for the roles to me! (Yes, I know their ages were a little off...but I guess I like them so much that doesn't matter to me.)

    Of course, I haven't read the book, so I'm not basing this on accuracy or anything. I just love the older version because...well, just because. :-)

    BUT I can recognize good things in this adaptation. Such as Dan Stevens. Gaaaahhhhhh.

    And I really do love Hattie Morahan as Elinor! She's an amazing actress, and she actually reminds me a lot of Emma Thompson so that helped. ;-P But I'm sorry, I just really didn't like Charity Wakefield. She was whiny and annoying and just really turned me off. Personally, I think Kate Winslet seemed convincing enough as a sixteen-year-old, and I liked the way she did the whole overly-dramatic-my-life-is-over emotions thing. But, again.....I'm very biased. ;-P

    I didn't like Mrs. Dashwood either. Or John Dashwood. And, oh, Willoughby was absolutely horrible! I'm used to feeling sorry for him-- I have a huge soft spot for Greg Wise's Willoughby-- but I unrelentingly hated Dominic Cooper. (Then I saw him in another movie and REALLY hated him...but yeah, we won't go there.)

    Colonel Brandon...was Mr. Headstone. I'm sorry, I just wasn't able to get past that. ;-P

    But as for Elinor and Edward, they were perfect in every way. Except that Dan Stevens will always be Matthew Crawley for me, so I had a hard time remembering he was actually Edward Ferrars instead of cousin Matthew in regency England, having missed several haircut appointments. But I do think he did Edward very well.

    So! I begin to realize I'm ranting. ;-P Short version: I have mixed feelings about this miniseries, but it's definitely enjoyable to watch, and I loved your review!


    1. Aww, thanks! That's so sweet of you to say:D

      Heehee, it's fine, Emma! To each her own;)

      Yeah, I haven't read the book either…I need to get on that eventually…:-P

      Don't get me wrong--I do like the actors in the other one, just not quite as much;) Oh, and I understand what you mean about Marianne. To be honest, she's a bit of an annoying character to me anyway, hehe, so I guess her being slightly more whiny didn't really bug me;D (I just realized that that probably didn't make any sense…)

      I really disliked Mrs. Dashwood in the '95 version. Now, there was a character who really annoyed me;) But in the '08, she actually seemed to have some backbone, and overall I just liked her more:D

      Haha, I decided to not even "go there" with Dominic Cooper's Willoughby…personally, I don't really like him in either version, but I guess there are moments when I can feel sorry for him in both movies. However, I readily admit that DC looked quite a bit like Dracula or something in that one scene when he comes to Cleveland to "apologize" to Elinor…shudders.

      I haven't seen that movie yet, so I didn't have that problem with Colonel Brandon, heehee:) But I do understand why people wouldn't like this version, since he does tend to awkwardly-stalker-stare at Marianne *ahem*. I mean, I love him, but I get why people wouldn't;)

      Aren't they adorable?! I just…so cute;) Haha, yup! I watched him as Edward before I saw him as Matthew, so…:D

      No problem! It's cool to hear others' opinions:D

  6. Whoa. I just wrote a really long comment. Did not realize it was so long until I saw it published. Methinks maybe I should apologize....? ;-D

    1. Emma, you KNOW everyone loves long comments. Especially yours. ;-P

    2. Exactly! NEVER apologize for long comments;D

  7. I like both versions, but I have to say that this one is FAR more book-accurate which, as a huge JA books-lover, I SO appreciate. They have all the characters!

    AND DAN STEVENS AS EDWARD. GAH HE'S SO CHARMING I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Yeah, that. His performance made me decide I love this version just as much - if not more - than the other version.

    But Kate Winslet as Marianne - well, in my opinion she's the THE best. She beautiful, and the actress was super young. I loved her. Oh and Whilloughby was better in the 1995 version too, definately. :-O

    ~ Naomi

    1. Cool!

      Hee, I'd read your review and knew you loved Dan Stevens as Edward;D

      Yup! Again, just different opinions--I like to hear others' :D

  8. This is my favorite S&S, too. I like the cast better too, and I also like how much longer this version is. We watch it very regularly in my family, but for some reason we always forget about that first scene! And then we skip it and everything's okay. It's just so out of place with the greatness of the rest of the show!

    Nice review, Olivia! :)

    1. Oh, I agree:D

      Haha, the first time we watched it and the first scene came on, we were all looking at each other like, "What." "Is this one of Marianne's imaginations, or…?" :D


  9. Haha, my blog is the same way. I don't post about period dramas NEARLY as much as I should (I've only period drama review? -gasp!!-) but they're seriously one of my favorite genres and it's all my mom and I watch together. We usually have at least one period drama going for when we have a chance to watch without the guys in our family around. :)
    So...about this version. Before I saw it for the first time I was SURE it wouldn't come close to the 95 version....but then I was blown away and shocked that I was actually debating between the two as to which was my favorite.
    I felt like such a traitor. :P I still love the 95 version and think it will always be my favorite but there was a LOT I simply LOVED in this version. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in sooooo long and I NEED to watch it again. :)
    Edward and Elinor are adorable, and I do like Dan Stevens and Edward very very much. :)
    And I have to admit to liking Colonel Brandon a bit better in this version except I feel the age difference in him and Marianne is just TOO much in this version. In the 95 they fit, but in this he just seems like her father to me. :/

    1. Haha, I know, right?! For some reason, it just never gets enough publicity on my blog…;) Haha, exactly! My mom and I watch them together ALL THE TIME. It's great:)
      Haha, cool! I first watched both when I was younger and still not really than into either, so I didn't really have any expectations, haha. But I totally understand; MOST of the time, the version I've seen first is my favorite:D
      Aren't they, though?! So much cuteness!! Hmm, I did notice the age a little more in this one…but, then again, in the '95, Alan Rickman seemed way too old for the part, anyway. Ugh, I can't decide!!! But yes, I'd have to say that I do prefer the '08, overall:)

    2. Yes!! I love watching period dramas with my mom. So much fun!!
      Ah yes, usually the first version I see is my favorite too. :)

    3. Yes, it is! We actually quote Pauline and Mrs. Harris from the second AOGG movie waaaay too often=D

    4. Heehee, we're in the middle of watching that right now!! :D

    5. Oh, fun! Some of our favorite lines are, "Oh, Pauline…Pauline, now you've done it." "Saints alive, girl, you're aggravating!" "I WILL say it!" ;)

    6. Yes, heehee. :D Mrs. Harris is so hilarious. We love her. :)

    7. She definitely is! We do, as well;)

  10. I also like this version much better than 1995, pretty much for all the reasons that you mentioned :) (I do love it so much when a reviewer shares my opinions!)

    Charity Wakefield definitely made a much better Marianne. I know everybody loves Kate Winslet, but she actually came across as super haughty and cold and even CRUEL to me. She acted like some imperious aristocratic Grande Dame. I didn't like that--especially not for a sixteen-year-old. Charity Wakefield was silly and whiny and annoying, but you could tell that she really had a good heart underneath and didn't MEAN to be an awful person. And her relationship with Colonel Brandon was SOOO sweet. (David Morrissey's version of Brandon is my favorite Austen hero ever. The end.)

    1. Yay! I do too, Jessica!:D

      THANK YOU. I just--I don't know…basically, what you said, about Kate Winslet. I just don't really get "sixteen" or, for that matter, "really nice person" from her:-/ And YES TO DAVID MORRISSEY'S BRANDON. Amen and amen;)

    2. Did I hear David Morrissey's Brandon!?! :D YES! coughshamelessshippingoneselfandhimcough

    3. Yes, you did, Evie! High five, girlfriend:) He's awesome;)

    4. Hey, thanks, guys! (Sorry, I didn't see these before.) Yeah, I just love David Morrissey's Brandon. He's just so STRONG and yet so sweet and gentle at the same time.

      Especially that scene where he goes to see Elinor and Marianne when they arrive in London and Marianne runs out of the room and he glances after her with this hurt-and-yet-patient look in his eyes . . . I just MELTED when I saw that.

      Actually, I have a character in my forthcoming novel who is *cough* partly inspired by Colonel Brandon :)

    5. Awww, YES! I knoooow---now I want to go watch his scenes again:D

      Oh! That's awesome!


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